1950s

1950

Tapline

The 1,212 kilometer Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), is completed, making it the longest in the world. Tapline links eastern Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea, sharply cutting the time and cost of exporting oil to Europe. Tapline remains in operation until 1983.

The Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, links Saudi Arabia to a Mediterranean port.

1951

Safaniya offshore oil field discovered

After two years of exploration in the shallow Arabian Gulf waters, the Safaniya field is discovered three kilometers offshore and 225 kilometers north of Dhahran. The field proves to be the world's largest offshore oil field.

Home Ownership Program launches

We launch our Home Ownership Program in 1951. The land is provided by the government, and the company provides interest-free loans and develops new communities with roads and utilities.

Safaniya, the world's largest offshore oil field.

1952

Aramco headquarters moves from New York to Dhahran.

Aramco management makes the decision to move the company's headquarters from New York to Dhahran, reflecting Saudi Arabia's central role in the company's future.

The Flying Camel, Aramco's DC-6B, arrives in Dhahran.

1953

First company publication in Arabic

In March 1951, three company translators propose an Arabic publication akin to the Sun and Flare, the English newspaper then issued by the company. Two years later, in October 1953, the first issue of Qafilat az-Zayt (The Oil Caravan) makes its debut.

Aramco builds government schools

We begin building schools for the children of our Arab and Muslim employees in the Eastern Province, under an agreement with the government. During this arrangement, which lasts more than 50 years, we build 139 schools.

Ras Tanura terminal and tank farm.

1954

Oil production hits 1 million bpd

In May 1954, oil production exceeds 1 million bpd for the first time.

Bookkeepers learn how to use new calculating machines.

1955

Exploration work well under way in the Rub' al-Khali

Large Kenworth vehicles haul vital supplies to work crews deep in the desert every two weeks. Seismic, gravity magnetic and reconnaissance surveys lead to exploratory and structural drilling by the end of the decade.

Industrial Training Centers open

Between 1955 and 1957, three Industrial Training Centers (ITCs) open in Dhahran, Ras Tanura and Abqaiq to help develop the skills of the Saudi workforce. Each one contains 20 to 24 classrooms plus a science laboratory, a drafting room and a business machines classroom.

Bedouin guide Khamis ibn Rimthan, right, with exploration field party.

1956

Malaria eradicated

When explorers first arrive in Saudi Arabia in 1933, malaria is endemic in the eastern region. In the early 1940s, in cooperation with the Saudi government, we launch an anti-malaria campaign, educating residents about preventing the spread of the mosquito-borne illness and spraying villages to kill mosquitoes. By 1956, the disease has disappeared.

Community of 'Udhailiyah built

The residential community of 'Udhailiyah is built atop the central part of the giant Ghawar field, 125 kilometers southwest of Abqaiq.

Spraying houses for mosquito control in Qatif.

1957

True size of Ghawar revealed

After ascertaining its full size, the Ghawar field enters the record books by becoming the world's largest known oil field, with reserves estimated at the time of 80 billion barrels.

Aramco TV begins operations

On September 17, 1957, we introduce television to Saudi Arabia. Aramco station HZ-22 is the first Arabic language station in Saudi Arabia and the second in the entire Middle East. Air time is equally divided between recreational and educational programs and includes science, mathematics and English language classes.

Drilling crew in the Rub' al-Khali.

1958

Oil production exceeds 1 million bpd annually

Over the course of 1958, the company averages more than 1 million barrels of oil per day for the first time.

A worker opens a valve at the Ras Tanura Refnery.

1959

Two Saudis join the Board of Directors

'Abd Allah H. Al-Turayqi and Hafiz Wahbah become the first two Saudis to join the Aramco Board of Directors when they are elected on May 20, 1959.

First Saudis to study in the U.S.

We begin sending promising young Saudi employees to study at U.S. colleges and universities.

'Abd Allah Al-Turayqi and Hafiz Wahbah join the Aramco Board of Directors.

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