Yet to be named the Prosperity Well, the site still held a hallowed place in Aramco history.
During the first royal visit to Aramco in May 1939, His Majesty King 'Abd al-'Aziz Al Sa'ud, accompanied by Floyd Ohliger, resident manager, second from right, visited the discovery well, Dammam No. 7. During his visit, the King also opened the valve at Ras Tanura that released the first Saudi shipment of crude oil to a tanker ship.
From the March 2, 1988 edition of The Arabian Sun.
On this day 50 years ago, Saudi and American drillers were working a rig at a spot that today is just a few hundred meters up Dallah Road from Aramco's headquarters in Dhahran.
Despite numerous setbacks and only disappointing hydrocarbon shows, they had instructions to keep drilling, and drill they did. The following day, March 3, 1938, the deep test well struck oil in a stratum dubbed the Arab Zone.
The find, which ended a nearly five-year quest, proved monumental. It made possible the commercial development of oil in Saudi Arabia, played a key role in assuring a prosperous future for the Saudi people, and set Aramco firmly on course toward becoming the world's largest-producing oil company.
In its first five decades, the company has produced more than 53 billion barrels of crude.
Of all the thousands of wells drilled by Aramco since, lucky No. 7 is the mascot, the symbol of first success.
Today, as ever, Dammam No. 7 stands on Jabal Dhahran — the geographic name for the Dammam Dome — at the foot of a cluster of peaks called Umm ar-Rus (the mother of heads).
The Aramco community of Dhahran grew up beside the site of the original drilling camp, virtually in the shadow of Ummar-Rus, which rises up behind al-Munirah and is seen every day by thousands of Aramco employees who work at the Dhahran headquarters.
Driving south on Dallah Road toward Aramco, Well No. 7 is on the right-hand side, slightly below the road's surface.
After that March strike, consultations continued on whether to continue to drill or not. You can guess the answer. By the fall of 1938, a commercial find was officially declared under the terms of the Concession Agreement signed 5.5 years later.
"Thereafter, Dammam No. 7 flowed almost continuously for 45 years, providing a total of more than 32 million barrels of crude all by herself. She was taken out of production in 1982, but only because of low demand. Actually, she is still fully capable of turning out 1,8000 barrels a day for quite some time yet -- and without any pump," said Jim Mandaville of Government Affairs Policy and Planning.
— The Arabian Sun: March 02, 2023