In the early hours of Oct. 28, students from all of the Kingdom’s major cities and remotest villages came to the National Industrial Training Institute (NITI) in al-Hasa, carrying with them their dreams and endless questions.
In the hall packed with promising dreams, Saad Al-Shahrani, NITI project manager, provided new students with confidence and support as he embraced this long-awaited moment. “We have developed a special program to receive 350 new students at NITI,” he said.
Al-Shahrani confirmed that Saudi Aramco’s contribution in the institute came in the context of a long-term strategy designed to train and qualify Saudi manpower for sustaining the development of the national economy.
“The output of this institute will fulfill the needs of the oil and petrochemical industries, as well as other related industries Kingdom-wide,” said Mohammed Al-Omair, chairman of NITI’s Board of Trustees and Saudi Aramco vice president of Pipelines, Distribution and Terminals.
Hamad Al-Marri of Salmaniya in al-Hasa, who got his high school diploma with a cumulative rate of about 93 percent, said that he aspired to join Saudi Aramco through NITI for many reasons, not least of which was a job and career security that can support innovation. “My specialization is operation, a job involving a lot of development, productivity and good benefits. I can learn a lot of new things and work in various cities and sectors,” Al-Marri said.
Mohammed Al-Zamil from Ras Tanura came to join NITI and was accepted as a mechanical technician. Al-Zamil said that he came to NITI to pursue his dream of working in Saudi Aramco. “Although I got accepted by most universities in the Eastern Province, the reputation of this company and its staff made NITI my best choice,” he said.
Mohammed F. Al-Melhem, a young man living in Hofuf, shares the same ambition with Al-Zamil and Al-Marri. The work environment at Saudi Aramco was one of the main reasons he joined NITI’s program. “I’ve invested a lot in myself and developed my English in recent years so that I could join one of the training programs that would qualify me for work in Saudi Aramco. Today, I am about to achieve my great dream,” he said.
Saeed Al-Buwait, coordinator at NITI, said that the large number of the first group of students in attendance demonstrates a commitment on their part and a desire to achieve their ambitions. “I saw them receiving their uniforms one by one, and I could see in their eyes a hope for the future,” he said.
Geoscientists and industry experts from Europe, North America and Asia gathered recently in Istanbul to take part in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Conference and Exhibition 2014.
Sa’id A. Al Hajri, manager of Saudi Aramco’s Exploration and Technical Services Department, as well as chairman of the AAPG-Middle East Chapter, joined other members of the AAPG in delivering a speech at the conference’s opening ceremony.
Saudi Aramco was well represented at the conference. Ibraheem A. Assa’adan, executive director of Exploration, was a keynote speaker and took part in a panel session titled “Technical Innovation and Collaboration Keys to Affordable Energy.”
“We at Saudi Aramco have just recently launched a major research and development campaign through our Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center’s Advanced Research Center,” Assa’adan said. “We shared with the participants Saudi Aramco’s efforts and strategies in expanding research and development. We own a host of research and development centers, most notably, the center in Houston (which was launched earlier this month), centers in Detroit and Boston, and three offices in Europe – in the U.K., the Netherlands, and Paris – in addition to our center in Beijing.”
Saudi Aramco specialists presented a number of technical papers and the company was also represented on the technical committee of the event by AbdulKader M. Afifi, Ahmad Al-Hakami, Emad Al-Janoubi, Muhammad A. Huzam and Mahdi Abu Ali.
The conference saw a high level presence from global petroleum and services companies and academia. Randi Martinsen, AAPG chairman, lauded the passing of 100 years since the AAPG was established. Its global members now number about 38,000. The next conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, in 2015.
Saudi Aramco won two major awards at the 5th Annual Oil & Gas Middle East awards held in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22.
Adnan A. Al-Kanaan, manager of the Gas Reservoir Management Department (GRMD), won Production Manager of the Year for his efforts in increasing overall production and reserves through new technologies, delineation and deepening drilling cost efficiencies and the expansion into Saudi Arabia’s gas program.
The company’s Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center — Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), meanwhile, won the Technical Innovation of the Year award for its research and implementation of nanoparticle agents through its Arab-D Reservoir Dots program, also known as A-Dots.
The Production Manager of the Year award comes at a time when the Kingdom’s nonassociated gas reserves and production are increasing to meet the Kingdom’s growing need for power and for feedstock for the growing petrochemicals industry. As manager of GRMD, Al-Kanaan oversees the nonassociated gas development and production program in the Kingdom.
“Saudi Aramco is pushing the envelope with technology to expand production and productivity, especially concerning gas development in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Kanaan said.
Speaking specifically about the A-Dots program, Khaled A. Al Buraik, vice president of Petroleum Engineering and Development, described it as “one of the ground-breaking research programs that Saudi Aramco is undertaking as part of its diverse upstream technologies portfolio. These programs don’t benefit the company alone, but the rest of oil and gas industry.” he said.
The A-Dots project is one component of the company’s program to develop reservoir nano-agents to enhance in-situ sensing. A-Dots are nano-particle fluorescent tracer agents designed to track the flow of water injected into wells. Nano-agents such as A-Dots will ultimately help increase the company’s overall recovery of hydrocarbons.
Taken together, these two awards show that the company’s drive toward operational excellence and innovation are putting Saudi Aramco at the forefront of the oil and gas industry. Leading the way in operational performance, and coming up with game-changing technologies that help improve future recoverability of hydrocarbons are not just good for business; they also give Saudi Aramco the ability to change the way in which the energy business is conducted, and to help the Kingdom become a magnet for innovation.
The Advanced Research Center of Saudi Aramco’s Exploration and Petroleum Engineering organization, known as EXPEC ARC, has successfully completed field trials of the award-winning steerable access sub (SAS), jointly developed with Welltec.
The SAS is the industry’s first electro-mechanical robotic system that can identify lateral windows and access laterals in real-time data operation. The tool was deployed in a number of well environments, both open and cased hole, over the past several years.
“This new technology provides significant impact in supporting Upstream’s business goal of maximizing future hydrocarbon recovery from our oil fields and fulfills a necessary niche within our portfolio,” said Nabeel Al-Habib, EXPEC ARC Production chief technologist.
The SAS provides reservoir engineers the ability to plan reservoir management at the lateral level in terms of logging and acidizing operations, allows production engineers to better manage the well and gives completion engineers the confidence that interventions will be possible in more complex, multilateral well designs.
“Major endeavors, such as the SAS, are representative of the collaborative research and development projects EXPEC ARC strives to achieve — not only to advance our own mission but also to provide industry innovative solutions benefiting operators around the world,” said Waleed Mulhim, EXPEC ARC manager.
The tool recently won the Intervention Technology Award at the 2014 Interventional and Coiled Tubing Well Intervention and Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition in the U.S.
Aramco Asia-Japan, Saudi Aramco’s affiliate based in Tokyo, is opening new horizons, leading new markets and enhancing the company’s growth opportunities in the region. Aramco Asia-Japan, the product of a merger of two branch offices of two companies, Aramco Overseas Company – Tokyo and Saudi Petroleum Limited – Tokyo, carries out key support services for Saudi Aramco. These activities include inspection, information technology, quality management, research and business development and public relations, among others.
Aramco Asia-Japan’s inspectors are the first line of defense in quality assurance. With increasing trade exchanges between operations in Asia and the company’s headquarters in Dhahran, inspection becomes a main element in guaranteeing quality and maintaining the highest standards.
Serving Saudi Aramco’s companies in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Singapore, inspection work also includes quality management and information technologies services. Aramco Asia’s inspection engineers monitor equipment quality through a network of more than 300 engineers in the various Asian countries, plus support from world-renowned quality assurance agencies.
Aramco Asia-Japan performs quality monitoring activities for Saudi Aramco projects and joint ventures such as Petro Rabigh Phase II, SATORP and Sadara. “We work with quality representatives of each project to ensure that manufacturers apply the project’s specifications and standards as required and guarantee the quality of purchases such as heavy equipment, thermal exchangers, electrical transformers and high-pressure machines,” said Ibrahim M. Al-Jardan, head of the Quality Management Unit.
The Tokyo office is also responsible for the main server that provides vital information technology services to Aramco Asia offices in China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Japan.
When it comes to social responsibility in Japan, there is a significant cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Aramco Asia to support various causes. For example, through the Tokyo office, Saudi Aramco supports the preservation of coral reefs in Okinawa and in cooperation with a Japanese university, has contributed to mangrove-planting campaigns since 2012. When the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, Saudi Arabia was quick to extend help, and Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih personally visited the disaster-hit areas, meeting with customers and assuring them that cooperation with them will continue and prosper.
In the coming five years, management expects Aramco Asia-Japan to support major energy projects, including Saudi Aramco’s expanding chemicals business.