Geology Reference
In-Depth Information
The original Yomah Oil Company had been initiated in 1913
when its three British directors bought 500 acres of land in
Burma's Minbu Oil Field from a Mr Hugh Porteous Cameron of
Rangoon, for the lavish sum of £124,693. The vendor was to
receive £25,000 in cash and the rest in shares, but £20,000 of
the cash would be retained until the property was producing four
hundred barrels of oil a day. Mr Hugh Porteous Cameron of
Rangoon must have had a lot of faith in his land! To be fair,
the Minbu District did look promising. Production of oil had
increased from 18 000 gallons a year in 1910 to just under four
million gallons by 1912, and 4000 barrels a year was being
produced from a well right against Cameron's boundary.
However, Cameron had already drilled six wells on the property,
furnished the site with the latest equipment, laid a pipeline
to the Irrawaddi river five miles away and purchased land
there for oil storage, all without any significant amounts of
oil actually being produced. Before production could commence
he had run out of funds and sold out to the Yomah Oil Company
who retained his services as General Manager. Three years
later The Yomah Oil Company was in the hands of the
But in March 1920 The Yomah Oil Company (1920) Limited
was resurrected from the ashes of its dead parent, bought at an
advantageous price by the infamous Lim Chin Tsong, who was
known throughout the Burmese Oil Industry simply as LCT.
Until 1919 the charming, inscrutable and entrepreneurial LCT
had been, amongst his many other roles, an agent for the
Burmah Oil Company, the oldest of all British oil enterprises.
From an o~ce in China Street, Rangoon, with its celebrated
telegraphic address of 'Chippychop', LCT ran a network of oil
distributors that extended over the whole of Burma, which was
then part of India and a British colony. Throughout Burma the
Chinese had a virtual monopoly of retailing through the general
stores they ran in every town. These were supplied by LCT with
kerosene for domestic use, which they in turn sold on to the
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