Home About Contact Us Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Search Help


Chapter Details

7 State Intervention (c.1914-c.1919)
In 1909, the government-sponsored Anglo-Persian oil company began exploitation of liquid petroleum from Iran. Following the outbreak of World War One, all British oil interests were brought under state control, and in 1919 the Scottish shale companies were merged into the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, of which the government was the major shareholder. With the spectacular rise in demand for oil during and after the war, the technical and commercial expertise of the Scottish shale oil industry was harnessed to develop this new British oil company. Shale oil expertise directed the construction of Grangemouth refinery in the early 1920s to provide the new heart of the Scottish oil industry, refining crude oil imported from the middle east. Much of the best talent of the shale oil industry found senior positions within Anglo-Persian; William Fraser, Managing Director of the Pumpherston Oil Company, ultimately became Chairman of Anglo-Persian (and subsequently British Petroleum) and was raised to the peerage as the 1st Baron Strathalmond.