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Broxburn Oil Company Ltd

Date of Incorporation 6th November 1877
Date of Dissolution Company extant, name changed to BP Exploration Company Ltd on 28th November 1963
Registered Office 53 Bothwell Street, Glasgow
Directors James Beckett, Robert Bell, Sir Frederick William Black, Sir John Cadman, Sir John Traill Cargill Baronet, Robert Crichton, James Stedman Dixon, Hubert Bryan Heath Eves, William Fraser, Duncan Garrow, John Gemmell, Norman Macfarlane Henderson, John Hurll, James Kennedy, William Kennedy, James G Leadbetter, John Buck Lloyd, William Love, Herbert Edward Nichols, Sir David Richmond, Lord Provost Sir Archibald McInnes Shaw, Lord Provost James Steel, Bailie Steele, John Douglas Stewart, John Watson Stuart, Robert Irving Watson, William Weir, James Wood
Oil Works & Refineries Broxburn Oil Works, Broxburn (Albyn) Oil Works, Benhar Oil Works, Roman Camp Oil Works
Mines & Pits Albyn Mine, Carledubs Mine, Crossgreen No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3 Mines, Drumshoreland Muir Pit?, Dunnet (Sandhole) Mines, Fivestanks Mine, Greendykes South Mine, Hayscraigs Mines, Hut Mine & Opencast, Pyothall No. 5 Pit, Roman Camp No. 1 Mine, Roman Camp No. 2 North Mine?, Roman Camp No. 2 South Mine, Roman Camp No. 3 Mine, Roman Camp No. 4 Pit, Roman Camp No. 5 Mine, Roman Camp No. 6 Mine, Roman Camp No. 7 Mine, Stewartfield No. 1 Mine, Stewartfield No. 1 Pit, Stewartfield No. 2 Mine, Stewartfield No. 2 Pit, Stewartfield No. 3 Pit, Stewartfield No. 4 Pit


Broxburn Oil Company Ltd was established in 1877 to take over the many small works and purchase the mineral lease in the Broxburn area from Robert Bell. The existing plant and works proved to be uneconomic therefore the new company were required to invest heavily in new Henderson retorts which were designed to reduce fuel and labour costs whilst improving the quality of the manufactured products. By 1879 the company had built the much larger Broxburn Oil Works on the site of the Albyn Oil Works with a capacity of 250 tons of shale per day and a proposed extension to 400 tons per day. At the same time, a new more productive, "stoop and room" mining method was introduced which significantly contributed to the success of the company. Source: McKay, The Social History of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry 1850-1914, 1984

Valuation records show that in 1880, the Broxburn Oil Company aquired the small scale Benhar Oil Works, which at that time was operating only as an oil refinery. These works were sold just 4 years later to the West Lothian Oil Company Ltd. In 1891 a large new crude oil works together with mines and a company village to house the workforce was constructed at Roman Camp near Broxburn. This oil works continued in production until circa 1955. While crude oil production at the Broxburn Oil Works had ceased in circa 1925 and the refinery and acid plant had ceased production in the 1930's, candle production continued until circa 1957.

The Broxburn Oil Company was successful from the start and was able to match, then quickly exceed, the dividend performance of the older and more established companies. It was acquired in 1919, together with the other 5 remaining shale oil companies (Dalmeny Oil Company Ltd, James Ross & Company, Oakbank Oil Company Ltd, Pumpherston Oil Company Ltd and Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd), by a new company, Scottish Oils Ltd. This new company was a subsidiary of the government-backed Anglo-Persian Oil Company Ltd which grew into the major multinational company now known as BP. Although functions such as marketing, administration and technical support were centralised, Broxburn Oil Company continued to operate independently within this new structure until the demise of the Scottish shale oil industry in 1962. BP retained the Broxburn Oil Company as a subsidiary which remains active today, changing the name to BP Exploration Company Ltd on 28th November 1963.

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Particulars of trademarks registered by Broxburn Oil Company Ltd:

Trademark Trademark Title Registration Number Date of Registration Goods Specified
Broxburn Oil Company Trademark Broxburn Oil Company 14199 17th September 1878 Mineral and other oils used for lubraicating and illuminating purposes, candles and common soap
Broxburn Oil Company Trademark Broxburn Oil Company Petroline 29994 15th December 1882 Illuminating, heating and lubricating oils
Broxburn Oil Company Trademark Broxburn Oil Company Alexinoton 29995 15th December 1882 Illuminating, heating and lubricating oils

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