What if I told you oil discovery in Saudi Arabia wasn’t conceivable by anyone until the 1930’s? What’s now known as the most fertile land in the world in terms of oil was doubted by so many for decades.
In reality, oil was a savior to the region from economic despair. It all started in 1932, when the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded, and Ibn Saud was named the king.
For the previous decade, a variety of surveyors and geologists surveyed the land, signing concessions to do so. By May of 1932, the Bahrain Petroleum Company struck oil on Bahrain, which forced the collective oil industry to rear their heads on Saudi Arabia.
Standard Oil California (SOCAL) set up a subsidiary company called The California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), and found a promising drill site that they called Dammam No. 7. A few years later, after a ton of problems plagued the site, Dammam No. 7 finally struck oil in March of 1938.
This was the first of many discoveries in the area, with Dammam No. 7 being the first domino in what would change Saudi Arabian wealth and politics forever.
In 1943, The California Arabian Standard Oil Company was renamed to The Arabian American Oil Company or ARAMCO for short.
In the following years, the Saudi Arabian government increased profit-sharing margins considerably, taking more and more from private companies over time. The rest is history, with the formation of OPEC, billions of barrels of oil production, and countless wells drilled throughout the region.