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Aramco’s Frontier Story

Aramco’s Frontier Story

The Arabian American Oil Company and Creative Mapping in Postwar Saudi Arabia

(p.171) 9 Aramco’s Frontier Story
Oil Culture
Chad H. Parker
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the cultural practices that propelled the expansion of corporate oil production in the Middle East by using a particular instance of creative remapping—a campaign undertaken by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) in the 1940s and 1950s to redefine the potentially oil-rich Buraimi Oasis (in present-day Oman) as a historical territory of Saudi Arabia. The story of Aramco and the Buraymi Oasis, located on the eastern borders of Saudi Arabia, was one manifest in everything from border skirmishes to high diplomacy, but also one that included creative storytelling and the selective use of the past for corporate and national ends. Aramco’s role in the border dispute between Saudi Arabia and Great Britain, while seemingly small, speaks volumes to its corporate diplomacy.

Keywords:   oil production, Middle East, Aramco, Buraimi Oasis, Saudi Arabia, border dispute, Great Britain, corporate diplomacy

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