Arabian American Oil Company. Typed memorandum signed.

Dhahran, 17. VIII. 1952.

4to and oblong 8vo. (16) pp. Stapled.


Material related to the 1952/53 Grand Jury investigation of Aramco's role in an alleged international oil cartel: a memorandum to the department and district heads in Dhahran, signed by William L. Owen, seeking to comply with the subpoena of August 1952.

The subpoena, a copy of which is attached, instructed Aramco to produce hundreds of documents, comprising substantially all their records relating to foreign operations for the past 25 years, before a Washington Grand Jury. The present memorandum requests department and district heads to give an estimate of the number of file drawers in their custody that need to be searched for relevant material, the man hours required to do so, the number of documents which would need to be photostated, and the number of personnel required to fulfil these tasks. The document admits that "it is of course very doubtful that the work of assembling the relevant material [...] could in any event be completed by September 3". Attached to the memorandum are 11 pp. giving the requested estimates, prepared either by hand (in ink or pencil) or typewriter.

The Grand Jury proceedings arose from a lengthy report to the Federal Trade Commission on petroleum operations of two foreign and five American companies and their subsidiaries and affiliates in the production of crude oil and petroleum products in foreign lands. In 1953 Aramco's motion to be dropped as a defendant was granted. On 21 April 1953 the Department of Justice filed a civil suit against the Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), Socony-Vacuum Oil Company of California, Texas Company, and Gulf Oil Corporation, charging them with establishing a "combination and conspiracy and monopolization" in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Wilson Tariff Act.

A rare survival.

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