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Home > Companies & Works > Scottish Oil Companies > Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd. (1886)

Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd. (1886)

Constitution Limited company
Company number Registered in Scotland No.1501
Share capital £90,000
Date of Incorporation 7th January 1886
Date of Dissolution Company still in existence, name changed to BP Exploration (Associated Holdings) (1963 - 1972) - BP Japan Oil Development Company (1972 to present)
Registered Office 53 Bothwell Street, Glasgow
Oil Works Oakbank Paraffin Oil Works
Niddry Castle Oil Works
Westwood Crude Oil Works

A public company launched to restructure a company formed in 1868, also called the Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd., and raise an additional £45,000 of capital to fund redevelopment of Oakbank Oil Works and other extension of the business. The company's ambitions were for a long time restricted by the limited output of the small Oakbank shalefield, supplemented for a short period by shale from the Newfarm mines.

In c.1899, the company acquired previously unexploited mineral leases at Duddingston in the Hopetoun estate, and opened mines to serve a new crude oil works at Niddry Castle. Crude oil from Niddry Castle was then shipped to Oakbank for refining. The crude oil output of the Dalmeny oil works was also refined at Oakbank and in 1915, after a long period of association, the Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd. purchased the Dalmeny Oil Co. Ltd. In the first few years of the 20th century, the Oakbank company purchased mineral rights at Easter Breich, following collapse of the New Hermand Oil Co. Ltd., and also the adjacent Westwood shalefield.

Oakbank was one of the five companies that survived to become part of Scottish Oils Ltd. in 1919. The subsequent development of Westwood pit and the expansion of the Duddingston pits contributed a large proportion of the shale produced until the end of the industry, and the Oakbank was the operating company for the Westwood crude oil works, constructed during World War Two.











Lord Shand, in the Bill Chamber of the Court of Session yesterday, heard counsel in connection with an application for interdict presented by Peter M'Lagan of Pumpherston, M.P., against Colonel Hare of Calderwood and the Oakbank Oil Company. Mr M'Lagan sought to have the company interdicted from forming a railway through the grounds of Calderhall. It was stated that in September, 1884, Colonel Hare let to Mr M'Lagan the mansion house of Calderhall, with the pleasure grounds and policies, for seven years. In the following year Colonel Hare intimated that he proposed to grant permission to the Oakbank Oil Company to form a railway from the pits to their works. This railway, it was maintained, would interfere with the amenity of Calderhall as a residence. The company, on the allegation that Mr M'Lagan had given his consent, proceeded on Saturday last to stake off a line of railway which cut through the shrubberies and intersected the tennis court. It was contended on behalf of the oil company that Mr M'Lagan had agreed to the proposed line of railway being formed. Lord Shand granted interim interdict, and ordered answers to be lodged within eight days.

Edinburgh Evening News, 3rd August 1886


The Oakbank Oil Company, who some time ago obtained a lease of the shale on that part of the Hopetoun estate between the village of Winchburgh and the shale on that part of the Hopetoun estate between the village of Winchburgh and the Firth of Forth, have sunk two mines near the village of Duddingston. The shale covers a large area, and the seam is a thick and rich one. The company are at present erecting a block of houses in the neighbourhood of the mines to accommodate a number of their workmen engaged there, and are also making preparations for the erection of crude oil and sulphate of ammonia works near the ruin of Niddry Castle. The works and the mines, which will be two miles apart, are to be connected with a railway. Sixty houses have also been erected in the village of Winchburgh, and the School Board are contemplating an extension of the Winchburgh Public School to give accommodation to the additional children that will require to be provided for.

Edinburgh Evening News, 21st April 1902

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