So, on June 11, 1899, the articles of association of the A.I. Mantashev and Co. joint-stock oil industry and trading company were approved, according to which the founders of the company were the Tiflis 1st guild merchant Al. Mantashiants and the Baku 1st guild merchant M. Aramiants. The fixed capital of the company was 22 million rubles (88,000 shares of 250 rubles each).
According to paragraph 22 of the articles of association, the company was governed by a board of directors of 5 individuals elected at the general meeting of shareholders.
The articles of association were preceded by a very remarkable explanatory note (dated January 12, 1899) signed by Al. Mantashiants and M. Aramiants, in which the founders presented the property of the company and justified the need for the company’s establishment.
According to this document, the company had 188 hectares of oil-bearing lands in Balakhani, Sabunchi, Romani, Zabrat, Bibi-Eybat, and other areas of the Absheron Peninsula. Moreover, 160 hectares from these lands were owned by the company, while the rest was rented.
The company also owned a kerosene plant with oil and fuel oil storages in the Black City; a lubricating oil plant, which had a 213-meter pier, and a grain elevator for pumping oil in the White City; a special mechanical workshop and a 53-kilometer oil pipeline in Zabrat; and a plant for the production of metal and wooden boxes, depos for kerosene and lubricating oils, and a pumping station in Batumi.
There also was an oil-exporting station in Odessa that comprised of 100 tank cars that circulated along the southwestern railways of Russia. Finally, the company also had offices, agencies, and warehouses in Smyrna, Thessaloniki, Constantinople, Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said, Marseilles, London, Bombay, and Shanghai.
The oil production company had the following figures: it produced 480 thousand tons of oil in 1895, 504 thousand tons in 1896, 768 thousand tons in 1897, and 832 thousand tons in 1898. The authors of the explanatory note noted that the oil has been extracted via 70 drilling rigs from only the 1/5 of the company’s oil field property.
That is why they asked for permission to establish a joint-stock company (that is, to raise funds), setting a fixed capital of 22 million rubles. According to these indicators, A.I. Mantashev and Co. for 10 years (1899-1909) has been the largest oil-extracting company in the Russian oil industry.
This is how this industrial giant ranking third in terms of its economic indicators appeared. But if you consider that A.I. Mantashev and Co. constantly cooperated with other Armenian enterprises, it becomes obvious that “Armenian oil” occupied a clearly leading position and had a crucial role.
In the Baku oil industry, a new, extremely difficult period began, which was supposed to mark unimaginable geopolitical developments, predetermine the future of Transcaucasia, and influence the fate of Eastern Armenians.
This period had four characteristic features: the rapid development of the oil industry caused by the introduction of foreign or “non-local” Russian capital; the revolutionary proletarian movement; World War I; and ethnic conflicts.
An excerpt from the book of Khachatur Dadayan “Armenians of Baku”
Read also: “Armenians and Baku” by Khachatur Dadayan, The Term “Azerbaijani” Did Not Exist Before 1918, Armenians in the Period of the Russian Expansion in Transcaucasia, The Role of Armenians in the Development of the Baku Oil Industry, Armenian Oilmen During the Governmental Lease Program of Oil Fields in Baku – 1872, Baku Oil Industry Development from the Late 19th to the Early 20th Centuries, Armenians in The Management of The “Congresses of Baku Oil Owners” – 1884, Alexander Mantashiants – The Great Armenian Oil Magnat, Negotiations of Oil Owners and The Business Development of Mantashiants