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THE WORLD’S OIL: Sir Henri Deterding Says More Consumers Needed

The Scotsman – Saturday 18 August 1934


Sir Henri Deterding Says More Consumers Needed




New York, August 17 . —Sir Henri Deterding sees little hope for the world’s petroleum industry while the United States is still deluged with so-called “hot oil,” that is produced illegally in violation of curtailment agreements.

Arriving on the Berengaria to confer with Mr Walter C. Teagel, president of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey , Sir Henri Deterding expressed the belief that “the oil industry is trying to overproduce at an outrageously low figure . He sees “little hope of improving the condition” until you-first put your house in order, ” remarking ” 35 cents is the present price, when it might well be a dollar a barrel. The thing we should do is to work for more consumers. In America there is too much taking of business from one company by another. It is worse here than any where else in the world.”


He admitted that the tendency towards motorised steamships and Diesel-driven locomotives was an important factor in broadening the oil market , and expressed the belief that Diesel power would replace electricity on the railroads , especially on longer hauls, explaining, ” With electricity , if the power plant breaks down nothing moves, but with Diesel power the railways are absolutely independent. ” Admitting this was hard on coal producers, he held that it might be offset by transforming coal into energy at the source, pointing out, “The minute you begin transporting coal you begin losing money.”


Asked if the Iraq fields would eliminate the U. S. as the principal factor in the world oil market . Sir Henri shrugged his shoulders and said, “Americans are there also, and much that you hear about Iraq is political.” He declined to go into the subject of the conferences with Mr Teagle, simply saying, “When two oil men get together there is always plenty to talk about.” He sees little use in another world conference under prevailing conditions.

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