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in the USA preserved stockholders' wealth and incentive to consolidate exploration of international frontiers beyond the reach of US federal concessions during WWI.

"Seven Sisters": Dept of State | The 1928 Red Line Agreement

The 1928 Group Agreement (better known as the "Red Line" Agreement) was a deal struck between several American, British, and French oil companies concerning the oil resources within territories that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire within the Middle East. The origins of the Red Line Agreement can be traced back to the initial formation of the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) in 1912.
STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY et al., Appts., v. UNITED STATES (1911)

The general charge concerning the period from 1870 to 1882 was as follows: 'That during said first period the said individual defendants, in connection with the Standard Oil Company of Ohio, purchased and obtained interests through stock ownership and otherwise in, and entered into agreements with, various persons, firms, corporations, and limited partnerships engaged in purchasing, shipping, refining, and selling petroleum and its products among the various states, for the purpose of fixing the price of crude and refined oil and the products thereof, limiting the production thereof, and controlling the transportation therein, and thereby restraining trade and commerce among the several states, and monopolizing the said commerce.' ...

In order to discourage the Europeans from treating American oil companies unfairly, the U.S. Congress passed the Mineral Leasing Act in February of 1920, which denied drilling rights on publicly-owned land in the United States to any foreign company whose parent government discriminated against American businesses. Neither the British nor the U.S. Government, however, wished to jeopardize relations over the issue. In 1928, the TPC was reorganized to include the Near East Development Corporation, an American oil syndicate that included Jersey Standard, Socony, Gulf Oil, the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, and Atlantic Refining (later Arco). Jersey Standard and Socony later assumed total control over the NEDC after they bought out their partners during the 1930s.

Signing the Red Line Agreement

On July 31, 1928, following the discovery of an immense oil field in Iraq and TPC negotiating regarding the division of crude oil output between the partners, representatives from the Anglo-Persian, Royal Dutch/Shell, the Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP, later Total), and the Near East Development Corporation signed the Red Line Agreement in Ostend, Belgium...

by Cat on Tue Aug 9th, 2022 at 06:25:05 PM EST

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