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Before 1938, Saudi Arabia was known primarily for two things: its vast deserts and as the home of two of Islam’s holiest sites.

A California-based company’s discovery of a commercially viable source of petroleum in Dhahran that year, after four years of searching, completely altered geopolitics and the nation’s global influence and economy.

This find, 30 years after prospectors discovered commercial quantities of oil in Iran and nine years after it was found in Iraq, would make Saudi Arabia one of the world’s richest and most significant economic powers.

Source: cnn

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