DHAHRAN, December 08, 2010 — Saudi Aramco dominance in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) annual rankings continued as it recently received the global No. 1 rank of the world 50 largest oil companies. The company has achieved the top spot in the PIW rankings for 22 consecutive years.
The Saudi national oil company leads the world in reserves and production of liquids, two of six criteria in the rankings. Others include gas output and reserves, product sales and distillation capacity.
For 22 years running, PIW ranked Saudi Aramco first in reserves, production of liquids, gas output and reserves, product sales and distillation capacity.
Rounding out the overall top 10 companies are, in order, Iran NIOC, Exxon Mobil, Venezulea PDV, China CNPC, the U.K. BP, Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Total of France.
The top 100 on the PIW list control 87 percent of the world oil reserves and 72 percent of the gas reserves.
Authors of this year Energy Intelligence Top 100: Ranking the World’s Oil Companies, which incorporates PIW top 50 list, said that while little has changed atop the list, there have been significant gains made by Eastern Asian companies. They noted the rise of such companies as Malaysia Petronas (17), China CNOOC (39) and Thailand PTT (53).
Perhaps the most noteworthy example of the trend is India’s Reliance Industries, which jumped 26 spots from the previous year rankings to reach No. 40 in this year report.
The current rankings are based on operational results for 2009, which are the most recent annual data available for such a large group of companies.
Facts from the Top 100 report
- The 4 percent rise in Top 100 oil reserves was largely the result of a massive reserve upgrade by Petroleos de Venezuela; Top 100 gas reserves grew 2 percent.
- Top 100 oil output declined by about 1 percent, and gas production fell nearly 2 percent.
- Median revenue for the Top 100 was down 25 percent, and income dropped 42 percent. Median capital expenditures slid 35 percent.
- Four companies joined the Top 100 list: Cenovus Energy, Southwestern Energy, Ultra Petroleum and Korea National Oil Corp.
- North America is stirring again as a major upstream player, helped by unconventional (shale) gas success.
DHAHRAN, December 01, 2010 — The company on Nov. 24 celebrated its 100th patent, which was granted in March, but since March, 25 more patents have been granted, heralding an age of innovation like none before.
Inventors were the center of attention at the 100-Patent celebration at the Plaza Conference Center. Patent-earning employees are shown above wearing red ribbons.
The story of how that came to be is one of hard work, teamwork and talent, said president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih. Each one of us here is part of a transformation that is preparing the Kingdom for the post-industrial world and setting the stage for a true knowledge society and economy. The centerpiece of that is innovation, technology and learning. It all about the human element — the human being.
The groundwork has been laid for a patent surge. “Why we’re here today is a product of decades and generations,” Al-Falih said. “It’s the continuation of the spirit that conquered difficulties from the explorers who came to the Kingdom, from our forefathers who left their villages and did something that made all our lives today more prosperous.
Although employees have been producing patents since 1950 — with Edward Van Dornick oil and gas separator — it wasn’t until 2000 that a process was put in place to help them do so. In fact, 110 of the 125 patents granted to Saudi Aramco were granted since the introduction of the Intellectual Assets Management (IAM) system, indicating that all those ideas needed was harvesting.
Ideas have been there all along, from the very beginning of time,” said Mohammed A. Alansari, coordinator of the Technology Program and one of the key figures behind IAM.
“Value and wealth have previously been associated with physical assets,”Alansari said. “Nowadays, the real value is derived mainly from intellectual assets. Corporations that recognize the true importance of intellectual capital are going to be more successful, and the future value of intellectual capital is going to depend on our willingness and commitment to manage these assets.”
Rashid Khan, supervisor of the IAM Group, said: “We didn’t capture (the ideas) as well as we could have before the process. The process is our structural capital — it enables us to capture a number of inventions.”
The discoveries of today’s inventors are a clear passing of a torch from the early days. Explaining one example, Saudi Aramco inventor Bill Connor said, “There are oily chemicals in wastewater that don’t biologically treat very well and make it unfit for reuse.”
While lying in bed one night, Connor came up with a solution. “I couldn’t sleep, and I was thinking about it, and I essentially came up with an entirely different way of approaching the problem,” he said. His idea treats the previously unusable wastewater. “This technology will allow Saudi Aramco to reduce water consumption. It’s exciting to be able to do something that will be very helpful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its future.”
For Omer Refa Koseoglu, “doing something” means developing cleaner fuels through refining — a subject he’s passionate enough about to have been granted three patents already. “The secret is knowledge. I know the refining process well,” he said. “We do research, and I find a gap there, and I file a patent.”
Flexibility and openness to alternative solutions is why his team has many patents in process. “When it comes to ideas, I tell them, ‘No idea is stupid,’” Koseoglu said. “‘Come with the idea. Let’s discuss it with the team, and then we can build on it.’ That’s how we came up with so many applications.”
Patents follow the company’s business needs, which was the case with Saad Y. Mousa and his colleagues, Hani A. Al-Otaibi and Maan J. Khalife, who developed and patented a program that forecasts how many specialists there will be in a discipline after 10 years. “There was a need; in fact, there still is a need for this program,” said Mousa, who was the team’s computer programmer. “We use formulas for manning prediction, plus we develop Individual Development Plans and track development,” he said. “It’s already in use in four or five departments within Aramco.”
The company’s large support system — in the form of labs, processes and encouragement — also has increased the number of patents. “The experiments were conducted in the lab, with the EXPEC Advanced Research Center. Management would sit with us and really ensure that we protect our ideas,” said Abdullah M. Al-Dhafeeri, who, with Mohammed A. Al-Yami, combined gel with acid-soluble cement to help when drilling muddy reservoirs. “I was thinking of how we can be innovative and create a new solution that doesn’t exist in the market. That’s how we came up with it. It’s unique.”
Employees’ capacity to come up with unique solutions is why Al-Falih felt that a target of 100 patents per year was not too ambitious. “We all need to participate and create our own innovations and inventions,” he said.
“Saudi Aramco is bringing the best talent from all over the world, putting it together and creating true energy … energy of ideas, energy of hope and energy of development,” Al-Falih said. “You are the true champions.”
TOKYO, December 01, 2010 — Saudi Aramco employee Faisal F. Mirza and his 15-year-old son, Khalid, scaled Japan iconic Mt. Fuji recently and hoisted the flags of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco at the mountaintop.
Faisal F. Mirza, above left, and his son Khalid unfurl the Saudi Aramco banner at the top of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. They were part of a group in which they were the only Saudis, but the strangers became friends as they climbed.
Mirza, deputy general manager of Saudi Petroleum Ltd. in Tokyo, and his son were recognized by Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Turkistani for their accomplishment in scaling the 3,776-meter pinnacle. The father-son duo was part of a 20-person climbing expedition.
This adventure actually took place during our first holiday in Japan,” Mirza said. “The beauty of this adventure is that we were a group of 20 made up of a number of Japanese, and me and my son, who happened to be the only non-Japanese in the group. At the beginning, they refrained from talking to us as strangers, but as hours unfolded, we won them over and started communicating with them even when we were exhausted. We encouraged them, and they did the same for us.
Mirza said being atop Mt. Fuji at dawn seemed more meaningful as Japan is called the Land of the Rising Sun.
It was and will always be the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen, he said. Where the land recedes to the ocean and they blend together in a hazy blur. The light of the dawn offers an unforgettable view over other mountains, forests and lakes. I don’t know how to explain it precisely as you see the gentle slope, rolling green hills and clouds rising from below while the sun appears within this transitional area.
He said they found the climb challenging. The most difficult challenge we faced was the lack of oxygen when we reached Station No. 8, which is the last station prior to the summit, he said.
At sunrise, he and his son hoisted a large photo of King Abdullah along with the flags. “Although the Fuji summit was very windy and freezing cold — 12 degrees below zero — I am enormously proud that I raised the photo of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques along with the Saudi Arabian and the Saudi Aramco flags at sunrise. That indicated the start of a new day for the entire world.”
It was an exciting experience for young Khalid, as well.
“Even though this was a tough experience, and I barely made it except for my father’s encouragement, I am very proud of what we shared together as our first experience in Japan,” said Khalid.
Nasser D. Al-Mahasher
TOKYO, December 01, 2010 – Nasser D. Al-Mahasher, general manager of Saudi Petroleum Ltd. — Tokyo, recently delivered a keynote speech titled “Energy for Generations” at the 25th annual Refining Conference of the Japan Petroleum Association.
Speaking to more than 100 participants from Japanese refining, engineering and construction companies such as Shell, UOP, Chevron, Petrobras, CPC Taiwan, Al-Mahasher talked about Saudi Aramco’s fully integrated oil and gas business, the world’s most advanced technologies upstream and downstream, colossal investment in human resources, and its multi-layered ties with institutions and academia in Japan and other Asian countries.
He closed by echoing president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih’s recent speech to the World Energy Congress on meeting the world’s energy needs through the Triple-A Approach: Adequacy, Affordability and Acceptability.
DHAHRAN, November 27, 2010 – Saudi Aramco today announced the renewal of its USD 4 billion revolving credit facility in line with its strategy to maintain financial flexibility. The new five year revolving credit facility replaces the existing facility signed in 2006.
The recently signed facility is divided into USD and Saudi Riyal tranches broken down as follows: USD 2.5 billion (of which USD 1 billion is a 364-day facility) and USD 1.5 billion equivalent denominated in Saudi Riyals (and offered to local Saudi financial institutions only).
The facility includes 28 participating financial institutions and was nearly 250% oversubscribed. The terms of the new facility reflect Saudi Aramco’s strong credit profile. The average margin for the Five Year Facilities is 16 basis points (bps) and for the 364 Day Facility 13bps.
Saudi Aramco took note of the continued confidence in the company by the global banking community, as reflected in the terms of the 2010 revolving credit facility agreement, despite the difficult global credit market conditions.
The Saudi Riyal tranche participants consist of Riyad Bank and SABB as Bookrunners; National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group as Mandated Lead Arrangers; and Arab National Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Hollandi Bank and Saudi Investment Bank as Arrangers.
The USD tranche participants consists of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC and J.P. Morgan as Bookrunners; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Société Générale as Mandated Lead Arrangers; and Arab Bank plc, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, Gulf International Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, National Bank of Kuwait, Northern Trust, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and The Royal Bank of Scotland as Arrangers.
HSBC was selected as the USD Facility Agent, while Riyad Bank was selected as both the Facility Agent and Saudi Riyal Facility Agent.
White & Case acted as legal counsel to Saudi Aramco and Allen & Overy as lenders legal counsel.
About Saudi Aramco
Owned by the Saudi Arabian Government, Saudi Aramco is a fully-integrated, global petroleum enterprise, and a world leader in exploration and producing, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing. The company manages proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil and manages the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world, 275.2 trillion cubic feet.
In addition to its headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco has affiliates, joint ventures and subsidiary offices in China, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, go to www.saudiaramco.com.