The moments of the history
(According to the data from D. Yergin's book - “Mining”)
The history of the BOT dates back to the 19th century and is closely associated with the historical events of the development of the Caspian oil industry.
By 1876, Ludwig Nobel, the founder of the Nobel brothers' empire, having secured the position of the emperor of Russia, actually established himself as the main oil magnate of Baku, the “Black pearl” of the Caspian Sea. In less than ten years, thanks to Nobel’s diligence and efforts, Russia has outstripped the United States in the terms of the extraction of the “Black gold”, and the level of technical equipment of the oil refining industry of Baku has reached the advanced status on a global scale. In the second half of the XIX century, Baku refineries produced more than half of all Russian kerosene. In 1883, the “Nobel Brothers Partnership” implemented the construction of its first oil storage facility in the city of Batumi. The current Batumi Oil Terminal has been leading its history since the appearance of this object.
Surprisingly, in those years, the transportation of kerosene to Tbilisi from the United States (almost 13,000 km) was much cheaper than its delivery from Baku (about 550 km).
The situation changed in 1883, when Baron Alfons Rothschild, whose oil refinery in the Adriatic urgently needed the cheap Russian oil, financed the construction of a railway from Baku to the Black Sea Port of Batumi. In 1886, the Rothschilds founded their famous "Caspian-Black Sea Oil Society", which built in Batumi a number of oil storages and trading enterprises on the existing areas of the Batumi Oil Terminal. The new Baku-Batumi railway almost instantly turned Batumi into one of the most important oil ports in the world.
On January 5, 1892, Markus Samuel, the founder of Shell, received the official permission to carry the newest oil tanker through the Suez Canal. Samuel sought to implement his plan - to destroy the “Rockefeller Standard Oil” monopoly on the supply of kerosene to the Far East. The American company supplied kerosene to the Far Eastern consumers in the tin containers, loaded onto ships by sea, bypassing the Cape of Good Hope. Marcus Samuel, in partnership with Rothschild, opened up an alternative route through Batumi and the Suez Canal, which turned out to be much cheaper.
On July 22, 1892, the “Murex” oil tanker, designed by Marcus Samuel, left the English port of West Hartlepool and headed to Batumi. On the Batumi Oil Terminal the tanker was loaded with kerosene produced by the Nobel Brothers Association. On August 22, 1892, the “Murex” passed through the Suez Canal and headed to Singapore for the unloading at the warehouses of the Company “Shell”.