What is the exact meaning of the following passage? It is about the oil agreement between Iran and England in 1953. Of course, there were few passages before this one, which were related to one another as a, b, c, and so on. If more details or information were needed, I can add them. Its economic terms, due to their multiple meanings, make this sentence ambiguous for me."balance due the company" is problematic.

"If in any year the amounts deposited pursuant to (b) above less than one-twentieth of the balance due the company after the deduction of payments under (a) above, the company shall be entitled to receive and Iran shall deliver free crude oil equal to 25 percent of the amount, if any, by which Iran’s exports of oil and oil products in that year fall short of 20 million tons."

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    "Balance due the company" means "the amount of money owed to the company." Your English dictionary provides several meanings of the noun balance. Read them carefully. Can you tell us what English dictionary you consult to learn the meanings of English words? Jun 25, 2017 at 7:42
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    In copying the text, you have omitted the copula from the first sentence of the quoted text in your question. You were informed of this in the other English language forum where you asked the identical question, yet you subsequently posted the same text here without correcting the error. Do you understand why this omission renders the entire text meaningless? Do you understand the questions posed on that site in regard to this text? Jun 25, 2017 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


I will assume this slight error in your transcription:

If in any year the amounts deposited pursuant to (b) above are less than one-twentieth of the balance...

Now, suppose you are an oil company. I buy some oil from you, and make an arrangement to pay for it over time. If we agree that I will pay $1000 for the oil, the balance due your company is $1000. It's a formal way of saying the amount that I owe your company is $1000.

Now, let's plug an amount into the language in your sentence, say $125,000. Suppose I'm Iran. I have two agreements, a) and b). I have to make some payments under a). Each year, after those payments are deducted from what I owe, I have to pay five percent (1/20) of what is left.

Suppose, at the end of the first year, I have paid $25,000 in accordance with the agreements in a). The remaining balance is $100,000, five percent of which is $5,000. Now, if I don't pay that $5,000, the rest of the stipulations apply. If my exports are 20 million tons or more, I don't have to do anything. But suppose my exports are only 12 million tons. In that case, I have to deliver 2 million tons of oil to the company at no charge:

  1. The amount by which I have fallen short of 20 million tons is 8 million (20 million minus 12 million) tons.
  2. I have to pay 25 percent of that amount, which is 2 million tons.

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