1933 – May 29, oil concession agreement is signed between Saudi Arabia and Standard Oil Co. of California (Socal, today’s ChevronTexaco). The concession was later assigned to Socal affiliate California Arabian Standard Oil Co. (Casoc).

1933 – November, Socal creates a subsidiary, the California Arabian Standard Oil Company, or Casoc, to manage the concession.

1930s

1934 – There are 13 Americans in the camp. One of them is Max Steineke, who will play a critical role in the discovery of oil in the Kingdom. He teams up with Khamis ibn Ramthan, a guide who will also have a leading role in the search for oil.

1935 – The first test well is drilled into the Dammam Dome.

>> Origins

1936 – The Texas company (later 1937 Texaco) acquires a 50-percent  interest in Socal’s concession to help finance the construction of new facilities.

1937 Texaco) acquires a 50-percent interest in Socal’s concession to help finance the construction of new facilities. 1936 1937 – Company geologist  Max Steineke crosses the Arabian Peninsula both ways, gaining a comprehensive idea of the structure and stratigraphy of the peninsula upon which all subsequent geological knowledge is built.

‘Drill deeper’

Chief Geologist Max Steineke to Casoc executives in San Francisco in 1938.

Max Steineke is widely recognized as the geologist most responsible for the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia. Steineke was a senior geologist with Socal, arriving in Dhahran in the Fall of 1934. In March and April 1937, he crossed the Arabian Peninsula both ways, gaining a comprehensive idea of the structure and stratigraphy of the peninsula, on which all subsequent geological knowledge is based. Prior to the success of Dammam No. 7, Casoc had suffered a string of expensive setbacks. Casoc executives asked Steineke if it was worthwhile to continue operations. His advice: “Drill deeper.” The oilmen drilled down 1,441 meters into the Arab formation where Dammam No. 7 finally struck oil, and by 22nd March 1938, was producing 3,600 barrels per day.

Early photo of Dhahran, 1938

Casoc’s first payment of £ 35,000 being counted at the Dutch Bank. Jiddah, Aug 25 1, 93

1938 – Dammam Well No. 7 at Dhahran strikes oil in commercial quantities. First crude oil from the Kingdom shipped by barge to Bahrain.

1939 – King ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al Sa’ud inaugurates first export tanker shipment of oil at Ras Tanura.

Tom Kock examines hail stones while a Saudi boy watches

alarabia leaving Al Khobar pier for bi-weekly trip to Bahrain, Arabian Gulf, 1936

Exploration party using a plane table near Wadi Ansab, 1936. Photo by: Max Stenieke

Early photo of Dhahran, 1938

Early photo of Dhahran, 1938