More than 500 of Saudi Aramco’s partners and customers attended a company reception at International Petroleum (IP) Week held in London. This year’s focus was on “strategies for the changing oil and gas landscape.”
The Saudi Aramco reception, themed “Enabling Opportunity,” underlined the commitment to remain on track to achieve long-term goals. The evening was an opportunity for Saudi Aramco to host stakeholders and give attendees a platform to discuss opportunities within the sector.
“In 2014 alone, we hired thousands of new employees and pledged to invest billions over the next decade across the value chain,” said Salah Al-Hareky of Saudi Petroleum Overseas Ltd. (SPOL), Saudi Aramco’s London-based crude marketing arm.
“The numbers emphasize our desire to continue pursuing the right investment opportunities, even in times of uncertainty when convention dictates consolidation rather than expansion.”
The company highlighted its continuity over the past 12 months amid declining oil prices, which is evident in its increases in investment and human capital. Saudi Aramco has committed to increase spending on research and development, as well as on the people working in it.
“We are going beyond reliability and responsibility, extending our focus in areas such as innovation,” said Al-Hareky. “We believe innovation is the key to making our resources more accessible, useful, sustainable and competitive.”
IP Week, a thought-leadership forum for the global oil and gas industry, is organized by the Energy Institute (EI), a technical partner of Saudi Aramco through its Europe-based arm, Aramco Overseas Company. The three-day event saw more than 2,000 delegates from across the oil and gas industry — including CEOs, policy makers and academics — discuss the challenges within the sector and how to approach them.
According to the EI, this year’s event was unique given the ongoing political uncertainty around the world, placing greater emphasis on the role of oil and gas in sustaining society.
The company also gifted attendees at the reception with products made by Al-Faisaliya, a women’s welfare society based in the Kingdom, which supports cultural and community awareness programs.
As dignitaries and industry leaders discussed Jazan’s economic promise during the Jazan Economic Forum last week, the iThra Youth initiative kept busy with the promise of Jazan’s minds.
The iThra Youth initiative, launched by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, is the cultural arm of Saudi Aramco. The initiative hosted a five-day event that started with the iThra Lab and concluded with the iThra Youth Gathering.
More than 14,500 visitors flocked from across Jazan to attend the interactive program, which covered science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Women, men and children took part in the science experiments, as the iThra Lab covered discoveries, solving math problems, and brainstorming in various fields.
School students visited from the southern border governorates — 95 km away from Jazan. The number of students visiting iThra Lab reached 500, while the number of primary and preparatory schools reached 35.
Meanwhile, the iThra Youth Gathering allowed visitors to meet new celebrities such as Yasser Bekr, Mohammed Ba-Zaid, and Abdul Majid Al-Kanani, with the participation of Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, Ali Shneymir and Hadi Faqihi. The film “Sawah” was shown, which is about Jazan and was first shown during the iThra competition for new media held in December.
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, through the iThra Youth initiative, holds many programs and activities that focus on STEM and the arts in an engaging and fun environment. The initiative is striving to reach 2 million youths by 2020.
The events were attended by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources HE Ali I. Al-Naimi, Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih, and the undersecretary at Jazan governorate, Dr. Abdullah Al-Suwaidi. Also attending were many of the region’s VIPs, social networking personalities, and young people, especially from the University of Jazan.
Jazan Economic City will become a key contributor to Saudi Arabia’s economy as current infrastructure and projects development will provide a solid base for further investments in heavy and secondary industries, petrochemicals, mining and conversion industries, Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco said at the Jazan Economic Forum (JEF) today in Jazan City, southwest of Saudi Arabia.
The forum is being attended by over 500 Saudi Arabian and foreign dignitaries and business leaders, and is showcasing investment opportunities at the Jazan Economic City (JEC) project.
The Forum was inaugurated by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Jazan Province, HE Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, HE Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Saudi Aramco’s Al-Falih.
In his opening remarks, Al-Falih said the company was proud to play a key role in the development of Jazan. He said Jazan Economic City was part of the Saudi Government’s vision to create economic bases across the Kingdom to achieve a diversified economy and balanced regional development. “The Jazan Economic City vision seeks to invest in the region’s natural resources, diverse geographic features and human resources to make a major positive difference to the area’s future, so that Jazan will become a significant contributor to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Al-Falih.
According to Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco will build Phase I of the project which will include smart infrastructure to meet energy, utilities and transportation requirements of a diverse industrial base. “Saudi Aramco has been entrusted to build Jazan’s strategic infrastructure through the development of a refinery and terminal, a power plant, a commercial seaport, a water desalination plant, roads and water and sanitary drainage systems, in addition to connecting electricity,” he said.
Jazan’s rich endowment of mineral and agricultural resources makes it ideal for the region to prosper and thrive into a major economic city in the Kingdom, he added.
Al-Falih also said that Saudi Aramco has taken a pro-active approach to human capital development for the Jazan people by launching a number of training initiatives to create a highly-capable and qualified workforce, drawn primarily from the area’s youth, to fill jobs in all stages of the project. These skills and training initiatives began in 2014 when Saudi Aramco and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) signed the agreement of the Jazan Contractors Alliance for Training and Employment, also known as “Maharat” by launching two training institutes.
“The Saudi Aramco – TVTC alliance is an innovative strategic partnership with the refinery project’s contractors to train and employ 5,000 young people from Jazan in various construction-related professions and crafts over four years. Longer term, we aspire for the number of jobs available in Jazan to reach 75,000,” said Al-Falih.
Jazan Economic Forum (JEF) taking place from February 25 – 26 in Jazan City will offer delegates two full days of comprehensive information on the Jazan Economic City (JEC) project with presentations by subject matter experts.
The speakers will provide delegates strategic insights on the JEC project and the vast investment opportunities to be seized, paving way for the development of a region with a high potential for economic growth.
The Forum will begin with overarching statements by H.E. Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources; HE Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA); and Khalid Al Falih, President & CEO of Saudi Aramco. This would be followed by a keynote address by HRH Prince Muhammad bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Amir of Jazan Province,.
Over the two days, several panel sessions have been lined up, covering key discussion elements of the JEC project. These include presentations on Jazan Investment Incentives, the Jazan Economic City Vision, Strategy, and Value Proposition, Pioneer Investors, Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships, and Investing in Skills: Powering High Industries and Value Jobs.
One of the keynote speakers is HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, President & Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, who will deliver a presentation entitled “Quality of Life : The Ultimate Goal.” Prince Salman will discuss how the Jazan Region could quantum leap into a dynamic tourism hotspot, fueled by the development of the JEC project. Known as the Pearl of the South, Jazan Province features high mountains with perennial green cover which include spectacular waterfalls, lakes and pristine beaches in the outlying islands nearby.
The Forum will also see youth participation with a total of 160 volunteers from Jazan University involved in various capacities to ensure smooth operations of the two-day event. This represents one of the forum’s aspirations itself which is to see the involvement of as many local Jazan people as possible in driving the event.
In conjunction with the JEF, Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is hosting a set of public programs for the community of Jazan. The King Abdulaziz Center’s iThra Lab will offer children and youth of all ages the opportunity to design, program and fabricate their own creations from February 22 – 26 at the Al Rashid Mall. On February 28, the community is invited to the iThra Youth Forum to explore the creative side of science, engineering, arts and culture through experimentation and hands-on activity.
Covering an area of 106 km2, the Jazan Economic City occupies a strategic coastal location approximately 70 km from Jazan City in a region known for its abundant natural resources. The project represents a multibillion-dollar investment by the Government of Saudi Arabia to fast-track the growth of Jazan, a region that is well positioned as a strategic gateway to the Kingdom. The first phase of the JEC project includes the 400,000 bpd Jazan Refinery, a 2,400 MW power generation plant and a sea port.
Saudi Aramco and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) recently signed a framework agreement in support of a new Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences college program.
Members of the International Advisory Board (IAB) witnessed the official signing conducted by HE Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, rector of KFUPM, and Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih.
Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC ARC (Advanced Research Center) and KFUPM have been jointly working together to develop the college framework and key features. The proposed program will consolidate the existing departments of Petroleum Engineering, Earth Sciences and the Research Institute Center of Petroleum and Minerals at KFUPM into one unified college.
The goal is to deliver a world-class educational and research program that strengthens the connection between the university and the petroleum industry.
The new program aims to move beyond simply delivering a university level education in Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences and move toward a new educational model that brings faculty, students and industry closer together to address business and technical solutions to the oil and gas industry, nationally and globally in a collaborative and cross-disciplinary manner.
The framework agreement calls for the college to become recognized among the top five colleges in Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences worldwide within 5 to 10 years.
And at maturity, it will have about 90 faculty members and research scientists and engineers, including globally recognized faculty from Saudi Arabia and respected educational institutions worldwide. The student population is expected to reach about 400, of which 240 will be graduate students.