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Petroleum Economist is a monthly magazine that provides macro-economic and geopolitical analysis of the energy industry. It is part of Gulf Publishing Holdings.
Petroleum Economist magazine was founded in 1934 by Dr Oskar Tokayer, a flamboyant and immensely energetic Hungarian. Tokayer was an economics graduate from the University of Berlin. After World War I, he became a correspondent for several German national newspapers. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Tokayer left Germany for The Hague. There he became convinced of the need for a reliable information source on oil matters. The first issue of Tokayer’s news and reports service on oil and allied industries appeared on 1 January 1934. It was published in English, French and German under the titles Petroleum Press Service, Service d’informations Pétrolières and Internationale Petroleum Korrespondez. The titles were published twice a month.
In April 1935 Tokayer moved to London and registered his company as Petroleum Press Bureau Ltd. In 1936, with the growth in the oil business and the steady enlargement of information sources, the paper was turned into a weekly edition. It now provided information on the economic and commercial aspects of the industry and included production, consumption, refining, international trade, transport, prices, company earning and taxation.
The outbreak of the Second World War hampered the collection of information. The French and German editions were suspended. The English edition became a monthly publication. After the War Tokayer’s health declined and forced his retirement in 1949. He persuaded Shell and BP to purchase the company with the new editor coming from Shell’s Trade Relations Department.
Under new ownership the French edition was re established, with the Spanish edition in 1951, Arabic in 1953, German in 1957 and Japanese in 1959. The 1950 and 1960s were periods of vigorous expansion for the Petroleum Press Service. In March 1969 Mobil, Caltex and three other US majors agreed to share the financing of the publication and a trust was set up known as the Petroleum Press Foundation. The shares were transferred into the names of nominees to hold them on behalf of the Trust fund.
The 1970s saw the disappearance of the Arabic edition, which was published in Beirut. The French, Spanish and Japanese editions disappeared with the acceptance of English as the universal language of the oil industry. The title was also changed to the Petroleum Economist in 1974.
In 1982 the oil companies decided they no longer wished to continue their involvement with the journal. The Trustees agreed to a proposal for the shares to be transferred to a group of senior staff, headed by the editor. In 1989, the majority shareholding of The Petroleum Economist Limited was sold to Euromoney Plc. In 1991 other titles including Gas World International and Natural Gas were acquired, as gas became an important part of the energy mix. With the death of the Japanese editor in June 1993, the last foreign language edition ceased publication. During the 1990s a cartographic department was added to publish energy maps. The company also expanded into the provision of energy training courses and energy books. In 2005 Power Economics magazine was acquired to provide a further dimension to the company.
In 2016, the magazine was bought by Gulf Publishing Holdings.