BP Archive, Scottish oil company records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The surviving official records of those Scottish shale oil companies that became part of the BP group of companies:

  • Young’s Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company Limited
  • Dalmeny Oil Company Ltd
  • Broxburn Oil Company Ltd
  • Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd
  • James Ross and Company Philpstoun Oil Works Limited
  • Scottish Oils Ltd
  • Calderlin Property Company Ltd
  • Mercantile Chambers Company Ltd

The collection includes reports, correspondence, minutes, articles, working papers, maps, charts, technical drawings, leaflets, booklets, photographic prints and press cuttings.

In 1919, shares in the five surviving Scottish shale oil companies - The Broxburn Oil Company Ltd, The Oakbank Oil Company Ltd, The Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd, James Ross & Company,and Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company Ltd - were acquired by a new company, Scottish Oils Ltd, a subsidiary of The Anglo-Persian Oil Company Ltd. The government-backed Anglo-Persian grew into the major multinational company now known as BP. Some of the Scottish shale companies remained active until recent years as operating companies for BP's activities in the North Sea and other areas.

For many years the records of Scottish Oils Ltd, the five companies that they took over, and some of their precursors, were stored at BP's Grangemouth Refinery. This archive included company minute books, ledgers, production statistics, legal agreements and a limited amount of general correspondence. Other paperwork was assembled at the former Pumpherston Refinery, which continued in operation as a detergent plant into the 1990's. This material recorded the operation of the refinery and the activities of the Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd.

Conditions Governing Access

Access information

  • Open: Monday-Sunday 10-5
  • Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1 and 2 January
  • Book in advance
  • Wheelchair access
  • Visits are by appointment, and are free. A fee is payable to enter the museum and/or adjacent farm
  • For identification requirements please contact staff: info@almondvalley.co.uk

We aim to do everything possible to promote awareness and interest in this special heritage and to encourage study, research and the sharing of knowledge. Please see 'Research enquiries & projects' information: http://www.scottishshale.co.uk/IntroPages/IntroEnquiries.html

Website: http://www.scottishshale.co.uk/IntroPages/IntroMuseum.html

Address: Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry, Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Millfield, Livingson, West Lothian, EH54 7AR.

Telephone: (+44) 01506 414957

Email: info@almondvalley.co.uk

Acquisition Information

In about 2000, BP transferred material from Grangemouth and Pumpherston to the safekeeping of the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh from where it was later moved to join the BP company archives, held at the University of Warwick. In 2011-12 BP returned the archive to Scotland under the custodianship of Almond Valley Heritage Trust. The archive remains the property of BP.

Other Finding Aids

List of digitised documents, with links to PDFs: http://www.scottishshale.co.uk/Collections/BPlist.html

Archivist's Note

Created by Jane Ronson (Archives Hub team) using the Archives Hub EAD Editor, March 2015.

Description based on the details provided by Craig Statham (Digital Resources Officer)Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry and with reference to the BP Archive description of material held at Warwick University - http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb1566-bp.

Conditions Governing Use

A proportion of our shale oil images have been licensed to SCRAN www.scran.ac.uk scran.ac.uk who can supply and licence high resolution copies for private or for commercial use. Almond Valley can directly supply copies of other images from our collection under a similar scale of charges as those applied by SCRAN

Additional restrictions may apply to supply and use of images or information from the BP Oil archive.

See scale of charges for the supply of paper of digital copies for personal use.

Custodial History

For many years the records of Scottish Oils Ltd, the five companies that they took over, and some of their precursors, were stored at BP's Grangemouth Refinery. This archive included company minute books, ledgers, production statistics, legal agreements and a limited amount of general correspondence. Other paperwork was assembled at the former Pumpherston Refinery, which continued in operation as a detergent plant into the 1990's. This material recorded the operation of the refinery and the activities of the Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd.

In about 2000, BP transferred material from Grangemouth and Pumpherston to the safekeeping of the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh from where it was later moved to join the BP company archives, held at the University of Warwick. In 2011-12 BP returned the archive to Scotland under the custodianship of Almond Valley Heritage Trust. The archive remains the property of BP.

Related Material

BP Archive collection at the BP company archives: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb1566-bp.