Oil lies at the root of the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia

With its inherent connection to the religion of Islam as the Custodians of the Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, Saudi Arabia’s origins and characteristics were reflected by US policy towards the Kingdom from its foundation. American missionaries based their efforts on providing social, health and educational services among a population which faced difficult economic conditions.
This was until the discovery in 1938 of huge oil reserves in the Arabian Peninsula, the resultant increase in income and the end of the poverty and suffering that missionaries used to serve their proselytisation. The discovery of oil caused a fundamental shift in US policy, which became based on oil, the strategic location of the Kingdom and religion.
Five years earlier, in May 1933, Standard Oil of California had obtained exploration rights for 60 years, covering a vast area of land in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It established the California Arabian Standard Oil Company which was joined by the Texas Oil Company in 1934; the name was then changed to Arabian American Oil Company, known ever since as ARAMCO.
READ: Price war could bring oil to $10 a barrel with storage capacity running low 
Extensive exploration was carried out in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, without …

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