Lord Strathalmoud, aka Sir William Fraser (SPE)
AIME Honorary Membership in 1947
It is natural that Sir William Fraser should be interested in the refining of petroleum and that he should become a leader in that important industry; he is the son of a father active for many years in the management of the Scottish shale oil industry. William Fraser was born in Glasgow almost 60 years ago. He was educated at Glasgow Academy and the Royal Technical College in the same city, where he studied chemical engineering in the department endowed by Dr. James Young, founder of the mineral oil industry.
After a visit to the United States and Canada in 1909, he was appointed assistant to his father, then managing director of Pumpherson Oil Company, Ltd.; in 1913 he was made a director and then succeeded to the post of joint managing director when his father died in 1915.
Sir William was active in increasing English oil production during World War I, and in 1918 he was made chairman of the specifications committee of the inter-allied petroleum conference to coordinate British, French, Italian, and American petroleum specifications for naval and military supplies and to stimulate a greater flow of oil to the allied forces. For his services to his government and to the allies during the war he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Immediately following the first world war Sir William organized the Scottish Oils, Ltd., to combine all producing and marketing activities of these companies under the aegis of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., and in 1923 he was made a member of the Anglo-Iranian board of directors. In 1928 he was appointed deputy chairman, and in 1941 he was put in full charge as chairman. He was in large measure responsible for the successful Anglo-Iranian concessions negotiated in Teheran in 1933. He was knighted in 1939 in recognition of his long and valued services to his country.
In addition to holding the chairmanship of Anglo-Iranian and its subsidiaries Sir William is an officer in a number of other oil-producing companies, including several partly owned by American interests.