“There is nothing out of the ordinary occurring here in the general course of our business,” Socal executive W.H. Berg wrote to R.W. Hanna, another Socal employee, in California on March 14, 1938. “However, we are all very much hopped up over the results of tests made on our deep drilling in Arabia.
“While ‘one swallow does not make a Spring,’ I am rather encouraged to feel that in this instance, one oil well will make an oil field,” Berg continued.
Yergin also quoted from a letter written by William J. Lenahan, the company representative in Jiddah, to Socal lawyer Lloyd N. Hamilton, who had negotiated the oil concession agreement with ‛Abd Allah Al-Sulayman, the Kingdom’s finance minister. On Oct. 30, 1938, Lenahan wrote that he had visited King ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al Sa‛ud to inform him of the commercial oil strike. The king replied, “Some of my people have been telling me that oil in large quantities would never be found in my country … but I always thought they were wrong.”