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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/178-01

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1900-1950

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 96 production units.

Name of creator(s): Phoenix Oil and Transport Co Ltd


Administrative/Biographical history:

Phoenix Oil and Transport Company Limited was registered on 24 June 1920 to acquire various interests in Roumanian oil undertakings. In 1922 it acquired control of Roumanian Consolidated Oilfields Limited and in 1926 Phoenix Oil Products Ltd.

In 1926 Phoenix Oil and Transport also acquired Orion S.A.R. de Petrol, which owned oilfields in Romania. Orion, although a Roumanian registered company, was a Dutch undertaking, formed in 1910. Unirea S.A.R. de Petrol, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phoenix Oil and Transport, was registered in Bucharest in 1920. Into it went the assets of several small English companies partially destroyed during the First World War.

Arbanash (Roumania) Oil Company Limited, incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1912, was the nominee through which Phoenix Oil and Transport held the whole of the issued capital of Unirea. In 1935 Unirea amalgamated with Orion and in 1938 with Roumanian Consolidated Oilfields Limited, so that by this date all of Phoenix Oil and Transport's Roumanian interests were consolidated in Unirea and its subsidiaries.

The company's assets were in enemy hands from 1941 until early in 1945, although the Roumanian subsidiaries continued operating, despite aerial bombardment which caused serious damage to refineries, tankage and loading stations. Production in Roumania declined sharply from about a million tons in 1936 to 396,000 tons in 1945. Unirea was taken into Romanian state ownership in 1948.

Until 1946, a substantial interest in Phoenix Oil and Transport was held by General Mining and Finance Corporation Limited, which was represented on the board. Its interests were purchased in 1946 by Alpha Petrol Company of South Africa, and in 1948 the head office of Phoenix Oil and Transport moved to South Africa. On 27 February 1950 the company went into compulsory liquidation.

Phoenix Oil and Transport Company Limited had registered offices at 308 Winchester House, Old Broad Street, until 1923, then 6 Princes Street (1923-6), 9-13 Fenchurch Buildings, Fenchurch Street (1926-49) and 33 King William Street from 1949.


Scope and content/abstract:

The records of Phoenix Oil Transport Company Limited include:
- Constitution, operating agreements;
- Board, executive committee and AGM minutes etc., and annual reports and accounts;
- Internal financial and accounting records;
- Correspondence etc., chiefly concerning wartime and post-war matters in Roumania;
- Maps, photographs and so on;
- Miscellaneous (concerning Roumanian mining laws).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Access by appointment only. Please contact staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited together with records of Phoenix Oil Products Ltd, Roumanian Consolidated Oilfields Ltd, Unirea, Orion and Arbanash in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by the Official Receiver in 1988. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


Related material:

CLC/B/178-02: Arbanash (Roumania) Oil Company;
CLC/B/178-03: Orion S.A.R. de Petrol;
CLC/B/178-04: Phoenix Oil Products Limited;
CLC/B/178-05: Roumanian Consolidated Oilfields Limited;
CLC/B/178-06: Unirea S.A.R. de Petrol.


Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: January to May 2011.

Business records | Documents | Information sources
Oil extraction | Petroleum resources | Nonrenewable energy sources | Energy resources
Oil refineries | Industrial facilities | Facilities
Oil supply | Energy supply | Energy policy
Oilfields | Industrial facilities | Facilities
Petroleum | Fuels
Petroleum industry | Power industry | Industry

Personal names

Corporate names
Phoenix Oil and Transport Co Ltd

Romania | Eastern Europe