THE managing director of Pumpherston Oil Company, Limited, has long been looked upon as one of the chief experts in the conduct of the Scottish shale oil industry. In 1876 he held the position of mining manager to the Uphall Oil Company, Limited, and he afterwards became general mining and works manager to that company. In 1883 he left the Uphall Company, and secured a lease of the shale in Pumpherston estate from the late Peter McLagan, M.P. The shale, on being tested, proved of high value, and to work it the Pumpherston Company was formed. In the prospectus the output of shale was estimated at 250 tons per day, but so rapidly has the company developed its business that mere than six times that amount is now raised. At the time when foreign competition was strongest, the Pumpherston Company had its trials to endure, but it was tided through the worst times by improvements and economies in the methods of working. Mr. Fraser never lost faith in the future of the industry, and he had the courage to take advantage of the depression by acquiring successively the Seafield Works in 1891, the Dean Works in 1896, and the properties of the New Hermand Oil Company in 1903. Still later, in 1904, he secured the properties of the Caledonian Mineral Oil Company, and transferred them to the Tarbrax Oil Company, Limited, a new concern allied with the Pumpherston Company and also managed by himself.
    Mr. Fraser, who has suffered a good deal from indifferent health, finds his chief relaxation in his library, and he has also a fine taste in pictures. He is a Justice of the Peace for the County of Linlithgow.

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