Ken Webster began his oil industry career in 1931, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
It was November 18th, 1978. Two years earlier I had started a video electronics business in Jeddah that serviced video equipment, installed closed-circuit TV systems in hotels, hospitals, and compounds, and distributed the only legitimate video programming in a country awash in bootleg videos.
The radio just now played the song Tequila by The Champs and carried me back to a much earlier time - 1958. The new Dhahran school had just been built on 3rd Street and I lived on 11th Street which unveiled all kinds of opportunities for an unsupervised lifestyle.
We’ve all gone to school for endless years but it’s rare to remember a certain day when you actually learned two things. In 1952, I went to Dhahran Kindergarten in the portable that later became the infamous Teen Canteen.
Never Trust a Man Until He Proves Himself Trustworthy. So went the philosophy of the mentors who tutored Ibn Saud as a child and it remained his lifelong practice to tryout the integrity of those he would rely on.
With the end of World War II Aramco was finally able to ramp up production and start shipping a decent volume of oil after waiting a dozen years for a chance to get a return on the investment of tens of millions of dollars sunk into the Arabian venture since 1933.
When Ibn Saud scaled the walls of Riyadh in 1902, it began his celebrated passage to becoming King of Saudi Arabia. This story briefly describes the years when he recovered his heritage and oil was on the horizon.
Newly crowned King Saud arrives in Dhahran for an extended stay during the first week of January 1954, followed by a long hunting trip throughout the Kingdom. Dhahran District Manager Ken Webster reports on His Majesty’s visit in detail and continues his regular family correspondence describing daily Aramco operations and newsworthy developments.
Saudi Aramco celebrates 75 Years of Excellence at the Grand Event Tuesday, May 21st. Saudi Arabia's beloved King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the sixth king of Saudi Arabia, visited Dhahran to take part in Saudi Aramco’s 75th anniversary celebrations.
Among the many Aramco events that take place heralding celebration and much fanfare, the visit of the King and other members of the royal family to an Aramco camp continues to be an event for the record books.
John Lunde, Assistant to the Chief Engineer, is a veteran of 18 years of Company service and has spent a total of 12 1/2 years in Saudi Arabia. This U.C. graduate from Vallejo, California, was able to find other alumni here even in January 1939 when he arrived in the Field. The previous year Lunce wintered in Alaska while on a Socal wildcatting venture.
Distinguished by being both the first Montanan and first redhead in this column, Scott Harrison, senior surveyor, General Office Engineering, has been in Saudi Arabia 12 ½ years.
In 1937, Tom Barger left North Dakota and Kathleen, his young bride of two weeks, to seek his fortune as a junior geologist in a remote desert country. Out in the Blue is the story of the people he met and the places he explored in Saudi Arabia - before there was oil.