Reigned 1964 – 1975
The eleven years of King Faysal’s rule were marked by big changes in the world, the region, the country and the Company. Both Saudi Arabia and Aramco emerged stronger from these trying times. In 1965, King Faysal inaugurated the College of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran. Aramco has been committed to the school’s success since its inception. In 1969, the first Saudi employees of Aramco enrolled in the college. The following year, Aramco contributed millions of dollars to the school’s expansion program and in 1971, the university issued its first degrees.
During King Faysal’s reign, the program to build and maintain schools for the daughters of Saudi employees became reality, with the fi rst two schools, in al-Khobar and Rahimah, turned
over to the Government in September 1964. Aramco also agreed to support the recruitment and training of female teachers. Aramco, under the guidance of King Faysal, completed major exploration, production and distribution projects to bolster the Company’s place among international oil companies. The Berri field was discovered in 1964, followed by a string of signifi cant finds, including Zuluf in 1965, Marjan, Karan and Jana in 1967 and Shaybah in 1968.
That same year, Aramco became the fi rst oil company in history to produce 1 billion barrels of oil in a year.
To better deliver vital supplies of oil to the world, the first two loading berths at Ras Tanura’s Sea Island Terminal opened in 1966, with two more berths coming on-line in 1972. Two years before, Aramco’s shipments of oil and petroleum products from Ras Tanura surpassed 1 billion barrels for the year for the first time, and in 1971, oil production increased more than 25 percent over the previous year. Another offshore terminal, Ju‘aymah, began operations in 1974, with an initial shipping capacity of 1 million bpd.
In the Founder’s Footsteps
Visiting Socal headquarters, San Francisco, 1943
Examining rock samples, Rub’ al-Khali, 1951
Visiting Ras Tanura, 1963
Visiting Safaniya, 1963
Under King Faysal, the Saudi Government began negotiations that resulted, in 1973, in the acquisition of a 25-percent participation interest in Aramco. The next year,participation increased to 60 percent. These were the first steps to complete ownership of the Company, which came in 1980. The negotiated purchase of Aramco was yet another symbol of the relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, between the Saudi Government and the U.S. owner-companies of Aramco. The release of the Kingdom’s Second Five-Year Plan in February 1975 was one of the last official acts of King Faysal. One of the cornerstones of the Plan was the call for Aramco to design, build and operate the Master Gas System to provide fuel for a national network of diversified industries.
The Master Gas System, a legacy of both King Faysal and Aramco, remains the backbone of Saudi industrial development.