World Stamps

By Ghassan Riachi

Saudi Arabia honored Petromin’s 25th anniversary on 1987 stamps

June 11, 2015 01:44 PM

  • The two stamps in Saudi Arabia’s 1987 Petromin set share the same design, with the main difference in the color of the sky: orange on the 50-halala stamp and blue on the 100h. The stamps commemorate Petromin’s 25th anniversary.

By Ghassan Riachi

In 1987, the Saudi Arabia Directorate General of Posts issued two commemorative stamps to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the General Petroleum and Mineral Organization, known as Petromin (Scott 1042-1043).

The government wanted to acknowledge Petromin’s contributions to the nation and its success in the area of petroleum and mineral products. 

The stamps are denominated 50 halalas and 100h. In the 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, a mint never-hinged set, in the grade of very fine, is valued at $2.70, and a used set at $1.25. 

According to the Scott Standard stamp catalog and other stamp catalogs, the stamps were issued Feb. 23, 1987. However, the Directorate General of Post’s official bilingual leaflet about these stamps gives the Hijri calendar date of 25/6/1407, which is equivalent to Feb. 25, 1987, in the Gregorian calendar. The following website was used for the date conversion: www.oriold.uzh.ch/static/hegira.html.

The Government Security Printing Press in Riyadh printed the stamps on white unwatermarked paper in sheets of 50 stamps and four labels. The sheet size is six rows by nine columns. The quantity printed was 800,000 sets.

The stamps are square and perforated gauge 12. 

The two stamps share the same design featuring an oil derrick in the center with a flame coming out at the top. To the left and right of the derrick are petroleum and gas tanks.

Petromin’s logo in Arabic and black-and-white is shown underneath the derrick and tanks. The logo also is repeated around the main design, forming a frame.

In the top-right corner is the Saudi national emblem of a palm tree above two crossed swords. In the top-left corner is year “1407” in Arabic and the year “1987” in English (actually the “1” is shared by both years).

At the bottom center is the Arabic equivalent for “the passing of 25 years of the founding of Petromin.” This text is flanked by the denomination and currency, Arabic at right and English at left. 

Both stamps are multicolor. It appears that the only color difference between the two denominations is that the sky is orange on the 50h stamp and blue on the 100h.

According to the leaflet, the government of Saudi Arabia formed the General Petroleum and Mineral Organization by royal decree No. 25 dated 25/6/1382 (Nov. 23, 1962). 

The main purpose of this company was to manufacture lubricants because, after all, Saudi Arabia was one of the top oil-producing countries. 

Oil is the main ingredient for lubricants, and the government wanted to make sure it established a company exclusively for making these lubricants for the Saudi market. 

These products were necessary for the development of the kingdom. 

The first plant was established in Jeddah in 1970. Because Saudi Arabia was such a vast country, it became clear that two plants were needed in order to satisfy its market requirements, so a second plant opened in Riyadh in 1982.

Over the years, numerous international corporations, including Mobil, Gulf and Total, used Petromin lubricant oils to blend their products. 

This is a great topical set for those who collect oil themes on stamps.