Officially Dry


Air-conditioned trailers and helicopters have replaced the tents and camel caravans of Aramco’s early oil explorers. A few of the men who range the desert still cultivate beards, but most face the day clean shaven.

As Saudi workers grew more skilled through the company’s training programs, the number of Italians gradually declined.

The Energy Within: A Photo History of the People of Saudi Aramco. Kyle L. Pakka. Dhahran: Saudi Aramco, 2006

By the end of 1933 there were eight oilmen living in Saudi Arabia, counting Bill Lenahan, the liaison man in Jiddah. The small contingent stationed on Saudi Arabia’s eastern shore could merely nibble at the 320,000 mile concession area — and wait for word of the airplane that was promised them.

Aramco Handbook: Oil and the Middle East. Dhahran: Aramco, 1968