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Economy, Petroleum

Ad Dammam, Sayda, Ras Tanura, Abqaiq, world supply

The Saudi oil industry was founded in 1938 by the Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco) when a productive field was found at Ad Dammam on the Persian Gulf. Aramco was originally owned by four American oil companies, but in 1974 the Saudi government acquired controlling interest. The country’s vast reserves and high level of oil production have made Saudi Arabia a leading producer and a strong voice in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which has much influence over international oil pricing. Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves of petroleum exceed 260 billion barrels, more than one-quarter of the world supply. Annual production in the late 1980s was some 2 billion barrels of oil, and output increased substantially after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. In 1999 Saudi Arabia produced 3.1 billion barrels of petroleum, the most produced by any country. Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading exporter of oil. Most oil is produced in the eastern part of the country; offshore drilling takes place in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia also produces considerable quantities of natural gas; the output in 1999 was 46.2 billion cu m (1.6 trillion cu ft). To facilitate the movement of crude petroleum to major markets, the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, known as Tapline, was completed in 1950. It carries crude oil to Sayda (Sidon), Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea. Another pipeline, linking the eastern oil fields around Abqaiq with the Red Sea port of Yanbu‘ al Ba?r, was completed in the early 1980s. Most oil, however, continued to be exported from Persian Gulf ports, especially Ras Tanura and Ad Dammam.

Article key phrases:

Ad Dammam, Sayda, Ras Tanura, Abqaiq, world supply, American oil companies, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Sidon, offshore drilling, Saudi government, OPEC, Mediterranean Sea, Aramco, crude oil, Annual production, Lebanon, leading producer, barrels of oil, quarter, influence, output, place


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