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This article is about Dhahran, the city. For the Saudi Aramco residential compound, see Dhahran Aramco Camp.

Dhahran (Arabic aẓ-Ẓahrān) is a city located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, and is a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry. Large oil reserves were first identified in the Dhahran area in 1931, and in 1935 Standard Oil of California (now Chevron Corporation) drilled the first commercially viable oil well. Standard Oil later established a subsidiary in Saudi Arabia called the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), now fully owned by the Saudi government as Saudi Aramco.


Dhahran is a short distance west of downtown Khobar. It is about south of Dammam. Both are older Saudi port cities on coast of the Persian Gulf. Looking farther afield, Dhahran is northeast of Abqaiq, and southeast of Qatif and, further north, Ras Tanura, a major oil port. The island of Kingdom of Bahrain is also within easy driving distance to the east (about ), across the King Fahd Causeway, from Khobar.


The patch of desert on which the city is built is hilly and rocky, and most of the earliest productive oil wells in Saudi Arabia were drilled in the area, such as Dammam Well #7: "Prosperity Well," the first commercially viable oil well in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. This well is still in production 70 years later. This later led to the selection of two barren nearby hills as the place for Aramco to construct its headquarters.

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