Nix gráfica Digital | The Red Line Agreement
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The Red Line Agreement

13 abr The Red Line Agreement

Before the First World War, French Prime Minister Clemenceau expected oil to still be available in the local grocery store. After the war, France recognized the importance of access to oil. They wanted a share of mesopotamic oil. They tried to make a deal with Britain. As has already been said, France was entitled to Mosul (currently in northern Iraq) and parts of present-day Syria. Britain has backed France`s mandate on Syria if they were to relinquish their right to Mosul. Thus, on 1 December 1918, France abandoned its claim to Mosul to the British and, in return, the British gave their support to the French with regard to Syria and did not guarantee that they shared with the French the oil discovered in Mesopotamia. Subsequently, the two sides signed the San Remo agreement in 1920, which gave France 25% of Mesopotamia`s oil by acquiring the German part of the Turkish oil company. The United States has consistently refused to recognize the granting of concessions to the Turkish oil company of 1914. However, on 14 March 1925, a new concession agreement was signed between the Turkish oil company and the Iraqi government, satisfying the open door policy after long and controversial negotiations, notably with Gulbenkian. In the past, during the negotiations, Gulbenkian even became angry when Teagle called him an «oil merchant» when he considered himself a «business architect.» Despite all the controversies between oil companies, ethnic groups and the British king, a joint geological expedition to Iraq began in April 1927 with drilling. Six months later, in October 1927, in Baba Gurgur, six miles northwest of Kirkuk, oil exploded 20 metres above the Derrick.

The oil leaked up to 95,000 BPD. The need for additional capital for the exploitation of Saudi Arabia`s oil fields led to the end of the Red Line. Once again, a world war was an opportunity to reorganize oil concessions in the Middle East. After the occupation of France by the Germans 1940, the stocks of the IPC von Gulbenkian and the French were seized in accordance with British law. The IPC Board of Directors in London was informed that the CPI agreement could have been cancelled by a contract with a hostile authority. The principles of the CPI decided not to follow this possibility during the war, but the legal counsel of the New Jersey Standard then brought the problem before American officials who joined the company and insisted that the CPI agreement be revised to abolish the self-denial clause. The success of these maneuvers in 1947 put an end to the Red Line and allowed Standard of New Jersey and New York to take a stake in ARAMCO while retaining their shares in IPC. «After the creation of IPC, [Calouste] Gulbenkian insisted that consortium participants sign the Red Line Agreement (Yergin 1991: 203-6). The red line was drawn on a map to define the territories that were once under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, and the agreement stipulated that participants in the IPC consortium agreed to participate in the exploitation of oil, which was to be discovered within the red line exclusively by consortia of the same composition as the CPI.

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