The Ghawar oil field is the largest conventional oil field in the world measuring 280km by 30km. The field is located onshore about 100km southwest of Dhahran in the Al-Ahsa governorate in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
Ghawar was discovered in 1948 and brought on stream in 1951. The field is subdivided into five production areas, from north to south: 'Ain Dar and Shedgum, 'Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah and Haradh.
Approximately 60 - 65% of all Saudi oil produced between 1948 and 2000 came from Ghawar. The field has produced about 5 million barrels of oil per day in the past three decades. In 2009, the output from Ghawar accounted for 6.25% of the world’s total oil production. Cumulative production through April 2010 has exceeded 65 billion barrels. Ghawar also produces approximately 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Ghawar holds more than one fourth of Saudi Arabia’s total proven oil reserves and accounts for more than half of the country’s cumulative oil production. The field is entirely owned and operated by Saudi Aramco.