Use of oil as a weapon by oil producers.

FCO 8/2171 1974 Jan 01 - 1974 Dec 31

This file concerns the price rises and embargoes which were introduced by oil-producing countries following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the subsequent energy crisis, and the grave effects of this on the economies of Britain and other countries. It contains correspondence relating to:

  • Botswana’s concerns about the effect on its economy of the Arab blockade of its neighbours South Africa and Rhodesia; aspirations to develop its infrastructure with Arab aid; and request to HMG for assistance in treating with Arab states
  • Proposals by the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for ways to end the crisis
  • The positions of Japan and Singapore on the oil crisis
  • Negotiations with Kuwait to secure oil supplies; with a personal message from the Prime Minister Edward Heath to the Ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah affirming Britain’s support for a resolution in Palestine, and Sheikh Sabah’s reply
  • Instructions to the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company, and Abu Dhabi Marine Areas Limited from the governments of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi concerning oil production and embargoes
  • Reports on changing oil production and supply levels
  • Media coverage of the oil crisis, including an interview with the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Algeria Houari Boumediene on the issue (in French)
  • The question of buy-back prices
  • The visit of representatives of the Automobile Association (AA) to Kuwait and Iran
  • Italian diplomatic initiatives towards Arab countries concerning oil and other matters
  • The US Defence Secretary J R Schlesinger’s remarks concerning possible retaliatory action against oil-producing countries, and rumours that KOC installations could be sabotaged as a result
  • A quarterly analysis of oil supply and demand forecasts to April 1975, and an assessment of possible scenarios following the introduction of OAPEC constraints
  • The oil embargo on the US and the Netherlands
  • HMG’s plans to reduce energy supplies to households and non-priority industries as a result of the energy crisis
  • Correspondence with a member of the public who complains of Arab ‘blackmail’
  • The effect of oil price rises on the developing world, and consultations on oil prices and economic aid between Arab and Sub-Saharan African states
  • The Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s offer to act as a mediator between oil-producing Arab countries and the West
  • Meetings of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) countries in Vienna, Tripoli, and Geneva to discuss oil prices and embargoes
  • A French proposal to intercede with Arab countries and press for an end to the blockade on the Netherlands and Denmark
  • Anglo-Canadian consultations on Africa and the Middle East, covering the oil crisis and its effects in Africa and other matters
  • The visit of Prince Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to Britain and meeting with the Foreign Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home