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British Industrial History

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British Petroleum Co

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March 1909.

British Petroleum Co Ltd, distributor of petrol and motor spirit, Fenchurch St, London

1906 Company established[1] by Europaische Petroleum Union to market its products in Britain.

1907 Agreement with Shell Transport and Trading Co to distribute Shell petrol in the UK using Shell storage tanks, etc as agents of Shell[2].

1908 Demonstration by British Petroleum of the use of liquid fuel to power a steam-driven yacht[3].

1908 Advert: Shell motor spirit[4].

1909 Use of crude petroleum supplied by British Petroleum in glass manufacturing furnace fitted with the Kermode air-jet system[5].

1909 Brochure promoting the use of liquid fuels in marine, locomotive, electrical generation, metallurgical and other works; also featured Carbogen burners of Hackney and Kermode's burners of Liverpool[6].

1911 Distributed motor spirit in the UK for Shell Transport and Trading Co Ltd[7].

1911 Introduction of specific grading system for oil fuel to clarify the situation about which to be used where[8]

1913 Advert for Shell II, the new motor spirit grade[9].

1916 The business was being carried on under supervision of the British government because the directors were German or of other nationalities; there were no British directors[10]. Shell had distribution agreement with British Petroleum which continued until 1917; the German connection was causing great harm to the business so Shell had set up its own marketing company that would handle the marketing of products from 1 January 1917[11].

1917 Became a member of the Pool Board, set up by the government to control distribution of petroleum products[12].

1917 The company was acquired from the Public Trustee by Anglo-Persian Oil Co, together with 2 other companies which had been owned by the same German concern, Homelight Oil Co and the Petroleum SteamShip Co[13].

1919 The Scottish parts of British Petroleum Co were incorporated in the new company, Scottish Oils[14]

1931 A joint marketing company was formed [15] to market and sell the petrol and oil products of Shell and BP in UK. Shell owned 40%, BP owned 40% and 20% was held by the Eagle Group[16]. The name of the company was Shell-Mex and B. P.

1954 the board of, what was by then, Anglo-Iranian Oil Co changed the company’s name to the British Petroleum Company.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 6 July 1916
  2. The Times, 23 June 1915
  3. The Times, 21 October 1908
  4. The Times, 18 December 1908
  5. The Times, 23 June 1909
  6. The Times, 29 September 1909
  7. The Times, 3 February 1911
  8. The Times, 4 October 1911
  9. The Times, 26 February 1913
  10. The Times, 6 July 1916
  11. The Times, 12 July 1916
  12. New York Times May 5, 1917
  13. The Times, 7 June 1917
  14. The Times Sep 13, 1919
  15. The Times 14 November 1931
  16. The Times, 13 July 1933