CRUDE AWAKENING – 5. Mecca Saudi Style

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to January 15, 1902 when dynasties and kings crumbled under the waning Ottoman Empire. Enter – King Abdul Aziz the Sultan of Naijd. By September of 1932, Aziz finally declared his realm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However because of the global depression he teetered on the verge of insolvency and had  great need for hard currency. Due to the lack of written history, no one really knows if Aziz suspected that his land had rich petroleum deposits or if it was shear luck to hit the world’s largest oil reserves.

Would oil companies take a gamble on unknown lands in Arabia? As the depression deepened, it seemed unlikely to drill since most oil companies in the US were trying to stave off going bankrupt and oil prices fell to 10 cents a barrel.

However, no one knows how much Aziz was involved in the development of Saudi Oil because he had many advisors from all over the world including Standard Oil Company of California geologists that convinced him to grant the oil concession that lead to the discovery of the world’s largest oilfields.

It has taken 3 decades to remove the shroud of obscurity from this mysterious land. Even then, once it emerged on the world stage ignorance has slowly given way to understanding. The picture we have of Saudi Arabia consists of jewel-laden sheiks and princes wallowing in an endless flow of oil and a decadent lifestyle.  Years ago, part of this might have been true.  Today is quite another story. (We’ll talk about this later)

Basically, Saudi Arabia was non existent until the discovery of oil in 1938.


About bettybyrd

Betty Byrd is an editor, author, and actress. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in creative writing, and furthered her literary career through graduate studies at Ohio State University. She was an editor for The Spectator, Ohio’s largest weekly newspaper, and has free – lanced for a national men’s magazine. Betty has appeared in film and television, as well as numerous commercials and mini-series. She is a voting member of the American Federation of Television Artists and also of the Screen Actors Guild. In 2002-2003 Betty was accepted into the Who’s Who of America and in 2007-2008, the Who’s Who of American Women. Her previous literary works include a novel, Trinity’s Daughter, for which she was honored as a local author by the San Diego Public Library. She is also a recipient of a first place fiction writing award for her new novel, Utopia, Texas at the prestigious Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. Betty has had successful book-signings across the country to large crowds at local Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores. She has been featured in newspapers, and appeared on NBC – TV, and radio talk shows. Betty currently lives in Southern California with her husband and family.
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