In 1938, SoCal drilled the first producible oil well in Saudi Arabia. It was and remains the largest single oil find in history. Even today, Saudi Arabia possesses 17 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.
It was to change the future of the impoverished desert kingdom and to introduce a new power center in world affairs. But that had to wait until an Arab-Israeli war in 1973.
On Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday which fell on Oct. 6 that year, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. The United States and other nations supported Israel. In a surprise move, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries cut oil exports to those allies of Israel. By the embargo’s end in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from $3 per barrel to $12 globally.
Saudi Arabia had become a force to be reckoned with: