Dammam Well Number 7 finally struck oil after many unsuccessful tries on this day in 1938. Managed by the California Arabian Standard Company, this well was followed by many others which tapped into Saudi Arabia’s vast underground petroleum treasure.
What makes petroleum, or oil, so special? This naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbons can be readily extracted from its native rock and sand formations through drilling. Then the oil can be easily separated into a range of useful materials via fractional distillation – from fuel for cars, planes, etc., to lubricants, waxes, asphalt to raw materials to make many plastics and so on.
We will run out of oil one of these days. When I was a kid, I distinctly remember the projection that by 2000 to 2010 all the oil will be pumped out of the earth. So much for projections.
Here is Dr. Playfair’s map of the Arabian Peninsula from 1821. Much of the interior region was unchartered at that time by Westerners.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.