On the 4th of July 1962, a British tanker laid anchor in Das Islands harbour and lifted 254,554 barrels of crude which came from ADMA-OPCOs Umm Shaif field in offshore Abu Dhabi. After loading, the tanker, British Signal, cast off and headed with its modest cargo of oil destined for Japan.
Hundreds of weather-hardened UAE nationals and expatriates lined the shores of their small island to watch the tanker deand sun-backed island to watch the tanker depart with Abu Dhabi’s first ever shipment of oil, and bear witness to this historic event.
The first shipment and the subsequent changes it has initiated for the country and its people have their roots in the relatively distant history of the search for oil in the offshore areas of Abu Dhabi.
In the early 1950s, following indications of the presence of oil in this part of what was then known as the Trucial Coast, a negotiating team journeyed to Abu Dhabi from England to hold talks with the Ruler of Abu Dhabi for a concession to search for oil.
Early in 1972, BP sold 45 per cent of its shares in ADMA-OPCO which was then known as ADMA Ltd ( Abu Dhabi Marine Areas Limited) to a Japanese consortium, which later came to be known as Japan Oil Development Corporation (JODCO). As a result, JODCO became another active partner in the ADMA venture.