British Policy & Mesopotamian (Kurdistan) Oil



Marian Kent


Macmillan, London, 1976


About the Book

“Oil & Empire” is a study of how, in the first two decades of the C20th, British foreign policy evolved to safeguard her oil supplies.

The Mesopotamian oil concession played an significant role in helping to formulate this policy, and in affecting international diplomacy and British government-oil company relations. The British government became involved in according far more than the usual diplomatic support to a company seeking a concession abroad when it made the Anglo-Persian Oil Company interests its protege, to the extent of engaging directly in negotiations with its chief rival, the Turkish Petroleum Company.

This support was given greater significance by the British government's simultaneous negotiations resulting in the majority government shareholding in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

The First World War not only interrupted the Mesopotamian rivals' amalgamation but brought British military and political intervention in the area, through the Mesopotamian campaign and the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

By 1920 British oil policy recognized the need to control both the sources of supply and, so far as possible, the suppliers of Britain's oil. Mesopotamian (Kurdistan) oil played a central part in the formulation of this policy.

A serious academic study of an aspect of British foreign policy which still has ramifications in the C21st.

About the Author

Marian Kent was born in New Zealand and gained her PhD at the London School of Economics, London University. She spent most of her academic career teaching at Australian universities.

Book Details

1st. Edition. xiii, 273pp with 16 black and white illustrations