Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Petroleum Division (Eakens)

Participants: Mr. John G. Pew, Vice President in Charge of Production, Sun Oil Company, Philadelphia
Mr. Eakens, PED

I telephoned Mr. Pew this morning to inform him about the areas open to concession in the Middle East in order that Sun might have an opportunity of bidding for concessions on these areas. I mentioned that Yemen and the one-half undivided interest of the Sheikh of Kuwait in the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are not [Page 644] now under concession and that we have had indications that the rulers of these countries would be receptive to interest being shown in these areas by American oil companies. In connection with the neutral zone, I informed him that a concession on the one-half undivided interest of Saudi Arabia already is held by the Arabian American Oil Company. I further informed Mr. Pew that it is our understanding that the IPC concession in Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea has been allowed to lapse and that this area is now presumably open to other companies. Finally, I said that we had indications that Transjordan also is not now under concession and that that country still offers a concession possibility.

I told him that we were informing the various companies to whom the above-mentioned concession possibilities were considered to be of possible interest and that the Sun Oil Company was in this group of companies. I said that if Sun should be interested in any of the areas mentioned, or in the Middle East generally, the Department would be glad to discuss the matter in more detail with him and/or other representatives of his company at any time.

Mr. Pew said that he would take the matter up with his company and inform us whether Sun wished to develop the matter further. Subsequently he informed the Department by letter that Sun as yet has not decided to interest itself in Middle East concessions.

Although not so indicated in the memorandum of conversation, Mr. Loftus states that he gave essentially the same information as set forth above on concession possibilities to Mr. Webb of Atlantic on January 14, 1947.

The above information subsequently was conveyed by telephone to Pan American Petroleum and Transport Company, Seaboard Oil Company, Amerada Petroleum Corporation, and Union Oil Company of California.

Sun, Atlantic, Pan American, Seaboard, Amerada, and Union increase to ten the number of companies that PED has informed of the concession possibilities in the Middle East at this time, the others being Sinclair, American Trading and Production Corporation (Baltimore), Phillips, and Superior. It is understood that Jersey and Socony know of these concession possibilities, as do Gulf, Texas, and Standard of California, and consequently PED has not discussed the matter with them.

It might also be mentioned that all the companies contacted except Sun indicated interest in possible Middle East concessions, and that Phillips, Sinclair, and American Trading have been in to discuss the matter in detail with the Department. Pan American and Union also indicated that they desire to discuss the matter further with the Department at the first opportunity.