Oil Exploration in the Western U.S.

August 9, 1951 — J.E. Jones

The Mossadegh Project | April 14, 2013                    

Veteran Washington correspondent J.E. Jones on Iran:

“Broken Weekend” May Break
British-Iranian Deadlock

Prime Minister Clement R. Atlee [sic—Attlee] of Great Britain “broke his week-end”, as they say over there, to have W. Averill Harriman [sic — Averell] in to lunch last Sunday at "Checquers", the famous, Government provided summer home of prime ministers.

Following the luncheon, at which Foreign Minister Morrison [Herbert Morrison] and other cabinet officers participated in the discussion, Mr. Harriman was in touch with Iran and Premier Mossadegh to ask assurances of polite consideration for any suggestions the British may wish to present. On receipt of such comfort, which will probably be forthcoming, a British delegation will take off for Teheran. Mr. Harriman next day flew back to Teheran, and Mr. Morrison said. “We are entering a new era in the development of Middle East Oil.” Iranian officials are reported as being downright anxious to see that “nationalized” oil flowing again.

Meantime, the greatest oil prospecting drive of all time is under full steam all over the world, backed to a large extent by U.S. oilmen, while government officials here in Washington are pressing for increased production from Latin America. From Israel, a father and son team of oil geologists, Max W. Ball [Truman's Petroleum Consultant] and Douglas Ball of Washington, report “picture-book domes”, and every indication of tremendous oil pools. As a result of the Balls’ report to the Israeli Government, it is expected that the territory will be opened to American oil men for exploration and development on terms very similar to those under which the industry operates at home.

Exploration and wildcatting in the U.S. are expected to provide the nation with new fields, two or three of which may prove of major importance. “Oil-fever” is running highest at Williston Basin, covering 75 to 80 thousand square miles in North and South Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan, and but slightly lower in the 5,000 square mile Unitah Basin of eastern Utah.

Perhaps Mr. Harriman mentioned some of these things over the pate-de-foie-gras in the garden at Checquers on Sunday afternoon.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954

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Related links:

British To Stay in Iran, Produce Nationalized Oil, Washington Hopes — J.E. Jones, June 1951

Mohammed Will Go To The Mountain — J.E. Jones, October 18, 1951

Iranian Oil Important | The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, April 14, 1953

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