Abdul Aziz M. Shalfan: Bridging the Gap
Abdul Aziz Muhammad Shalfan joined California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc) in 1934 as Employee No. 4 and continued to work, declining retirement for nearly 49 years, until his death in 1983.
During his lengthy tenure with the company, Shalfan served a variety of functions within the organization and a key role in the Public Relations Department. Shalfan worked at the Aramco Oil Exhibit and quickly developed a strong reputation for his warm and engaging treatment of exhibit visitors.
Originally from the Najd, Shalfan as a young boy was brought to Bahrain where he encountered two Western geologists in pursuit of oil. Although quite young, Shalfan offered his expertise as a native of Saudi Arabia, to accompany the gentlemen in their exploration efforts. Such began his adventures in the search for oil, which led Shalfan ultimately to the well called Dammam No. 7, where Max Steineke and his geological team reached their goal for commercial oil discovery in 1938.
Shalfan experienced first-hand this momentous period in history, important both for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world. Describing the rapid pace of transformation within Saudi Arabia as a result of discovering oil, Shalfan proclaimed, “We have gone from nothing to everything.”