By: Mir M.Hosseini
It was inevitable for the British navy to switch from coal to oil. However, it was necessary to secure cheap and abundant resources. Churchill appointed admiral Edmund Slade as the head of a commission in order to investigate capabilities of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The commission pointed out in a detailed report on April, 6, 1914 that the oil fields north of Shushtar alone, had sufficient resources to provide requirements of the Royal Navy for a very long time, adding that the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was not able to exploit resources in the vast area mentioned in their agreement without increasing its capital.
The Great Britain Navy hence made an agreement with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company on May, 20, 1914 buying %51 of total shares of the company. The rights to supervise the operations alongside protection of investments were also given to Navy representatives. This agreement was presented to the House of Commons on June, 17, 1914 which was approved by absolute majority.
This is how the Anglo-Persian Oil Company lost its status as a private company and gradually became a powerful lever for political, economic, and strategic agenda of the British Imperialism which also created grounds for military interventions. In long term, Britain planned to separate these rich areas from the mainland and create Sheikhdoms that could more easily be maintained.
Another major change was that India became a lower priority in British foreign policy. This may be a major change in British national taste from spices to petroleum.