Oil: Historical Background and Aramco (3)

In 1930 (1348/49 AH), King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) was faced with a substantial fall in revenues, resulting from a drop in the number of pilgrims caused by the world-wide recession.

The King invited a wealthy American businessman and philanthropist, Charles R. Crane, to visit the Kingdom. Crane had already shown an eagerness to meet the King. In the course of Crane's visit, it was agreed that he should send a mining engineer to conduct a survey of Saudi Arabia to assess the Kingdom's water, mineral and oil resources.

In 1931 (1349/50 AH), the engineer, Karl Twitchell, arrived in Jiddah. Twitchell was a civil and mining engineer, with Middle East experience, having worked for Crane in the Yemen. After an extensive survey of many months, Twitchell submitted his report to the King. A key finding was that the geological formations in eastern region around Dhahran strongly indicated the presence of oil.

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