A reflection of the 1970s oil age, this map of Saudi Arabia produced by the Arabian America Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) offers a clear picture of both the basic natural topography of the peninsula — with its coastal mountains and internal deserts — as well as its transportation infrastructure. While the title mentions only the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the map offers good information for surrounding countries, especially Yemen and Oman, but also Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and East Africa.
Among the prominent features shown is the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, which runs from Al-Dammām on the coast of the Persian Gulf to [off the map] Sidon, Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea. It was built by a subsidiary of Aramco and began operation in 1950. Al-Dammām is linked to Riyadh by a Saudi Government Railroad, also marked on the map.
Besides oil, the other prized commodity in Arabia is water, and the mapmaker has carefully plotted and labeled the wadis (seasonal watercourses) that are so important to life. And, something we find quite cool: desert watering points are mapped and designated in the legend.
The verso contains two sets of photographic vignettes. The first outlines the oil production process, from exploration and drilling to extraction and control, and, finally, refining. The second series promotes the many uses of oil and the important role it plays in modern life: energy, air travel, cars, the production of asphalt, generators, and railroads that use diesel fuel.
The back cover displays the Aramco logo and says: “Stop at this sign to obtain Aramco’s products: Gasoline, premium or regular; Engine oil and lubrication oil.”