Aramco ExPats

Category Archive: Pipeline

Former ASC CEO Johnston Dies

25 May 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, May 25, 2011 — Joseph J. Johnston, a former senior vice president, director and secretary who ran the company New York office when it served as the hub of communications between shareholder companies and Aramco headquarters in Dhahran, died May 8, 2011, in California at age 95.

Johnston grew up in Taft, Calif., and earned a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940.

Former ASC CEO Johnston Dies Joseph J. Johnston, right, is pictured with, from left, Lowell Brooman, Madison Roberts, Frank Jungers and Aramco Board chairman Thomas C. Barger in the company’s New York office at 505 Park Ave. during the launch of direct cable communications with Saudi Arabia in 1965. At the time, Johnston was secretary and general manager of U.S.A. Offices.

He went to work for Lockheed Aircraft Corp. in 1941 before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1945. He returned to Lockheed in 1946 and for a short time before joining Aramco as a petroleum engineer in 1947, he worked at Universal Studios in the special-effects department.

Johnston worked in the Kingdom until mid-1951 when he moved to company headquarters in New York as a senior petroleum engineer. He was a senior research engineer when company headquarters transferred to Dhahran in 1952.

Except for an Oil Operations relief assignment in Saudi Arabia in the late 1950s, he remained in the New York office for the rest of his career.

In 1961, he was named general manager-U.S.A. offices and became a member of the board of directors and board secretary. He was elected vice president in 1968 and senior vice president in 1970.

In 1976, he contributed to the smooth transfer of a number of former New York office functions to Aramco Services Co. (ASC) and was named CEO of ASC.

He retired in 1979 and was rehired the same year, retiring for the final time in 1982, when he and his wife, Genevieve, moved to Newport Beach, Calif.

Johnston was “a straightforward and outstanding executive,” said former company president and CEO Frank Jungers.

“I worked for Joe in New York City for two years as his assistant to gain an understanding of shareholder needs and to assist in intercompany negotiations Jungers said. Joe … patiently and quickly trained me and others. He handled difficult problems with dispatch and a firm but fine, friendly humor.

Jungers said that when he became board chairman and CEO in 1973, Johnston became my primary adviser who always gave me honest and straightforward advice based on his government and shareholder experience. He was, for me, a true friend and confidant.

A Commitment to Clean Air

22 May 2011 | comments (1) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, May 18, 2011 — The importance of air quality cannot be overstated, whether it is for individuals or industry. For individuals, it is important in that it affects our health and being. For industry, it highlights a company’s attention to environmental affairs.

A Commitment to Clean Air Ras Tanura Refinery is witnessing continuous upgrading in its industrial equipment to improve its environmental performance. It has three air quality monitoring stations.

With that in mind, Hesham A. Al-Musaiid, manager of Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD), recently unveiled the company’s large-scale and developed technical program to continue in the tradition of monitoring air quality in its operation areas.

Al-Musaiid said that the program includes an integrated network of technologically advanced stations equipped with sensors, computers, and transmitters to monitor air quality and meteorology around the company’s plants and refineries.

The program continues the company’s decades-long commitment to the environment, air refining and quality control through the result of industrial, environmental and climate studies — processes that continue today to improve our daily lives.

In the Kingdom, five gases have been identified by the Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental (PME) as significant air pollutants that should be controlled and monitored, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and ozone. The network will address these pollutants.

A Commitment to Clean Air Employees examine sensing antennas in the mobile air quality monitoring station the Company added to its network.

This station network represents a total of 20 electronic stations remotely controlled Al-Musaiid said, adding that the stations are in various operations areas throughout the company and supervised by EPD.

The project is one of several pilot programs in the Kingdom applied by Saudi Aramco to ensure that its facilities will effectively and accurately comply with environmental standards for years to come.

Al-Musaiid said that this program is one of several environmental programs that have been maintained by the company over the years. Other programs have included a waste-management program, a marine environment protection program, a program for the protection of groundwater, a program for wastewater and industrial water treatment, just to name a few.

Air quality monitoring stations have been used to ensure air quality around Saudi Aramco’s industrial facilities since the 1980s, and the environmental program has already begun at three stations. Al-Musaiid predicted the total number will be 25 stations by the year end.

In this context, he announced that Saudi Aramco recently launched its latest high tech mobile station that can measure any industrial pollutant of air, if any, and ensure compliance with environmental standards.

The mobile station can be moved to any of the Company’s operation areas and run within a short period of time not exceeding one day,” Al-Musaiid said, adding that the station is designed to be used for special studies and only temporarily at new worksites until suitable sites for fixed stations are found.

A Commitment to Clean Air The Gas-Oil Separation Plant GOSP-3 in Haradh processes natural gas instead of burning it.

Large-Scale Network

In describing the air quality stations, the general supervisor of the Environmental Engineering Division, Osama Fageeha, explained, “These stations take air samples from special holes and tubes to the station, where samples taken from the open air undergo series of technical analyses to determine the level of air quality on an ongoing basis, 24 hours a day in the Company’s operation areas.

He said the stations, which measure air pollutants with remote sensors, can also measure temperature, wind speed, moisture, condensation, solar radiation, barometric pressure and rainfall. The weather data are also used in designing new facilities.

Environment First

Saudi Aramco facilities are subject to environmental considerations throughout the activity cycle of each facility, from the planning stage to early stages of design and construction. The environmental follow-up of those facilities continues during the operational phase.

Al-Musaiid said that after the completion of the construction work and with the beginning of the operational phase, EPD will monitor emissions from the installation using air quality monitoring stations to ensure that the installation complies with the environmental standards.

Green Achievements

Saudi Aramco has implemented several developmental projects for its petroleum products to reduce air pollutant emissions resulting from consumption.

In 2001, unleaded gasoline was introduced in the Kingdom. In 2007, Saudi Aramco started the production of low sulfur diesel in the Kingdom by building distillate hydrotreaters in Riyadh and Yanbu’ refineries.

With the completion of the hydrotreaters at Ras Tanura this year, the sulfur dioxide emission rate from diesel fuel will drop by 95 percent, thus enhancing air quality Kingdom-wide.

A Commitment to Clean Air Ready to start operations, Ziyad al-Shammari, right, and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Id, left, meteorological technicians from the Environmental Protection Department, calibrate technical electronic equipment inside the new station.

Planning for the Future

Al-Musaiid said that Saudi Aramco has developed a roadmap to ensure and maintain air quality standards in the long run.

This map puts a timetable for the projects necessary for the production of high-quality fuel for the domestic market. The roadmap also takes into account the population growth, urbanization and engine emission reducing technologies, as well as the composition and the growing volume of cars in the Kingdom he said.

Al-Musaiid said that this roadmap is being implemented and will be completed in the next few years.

Safe Energy

Saudi Aramco is also working continuously on reducing emissions from its facilities. Al-Musaiid said the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s Master Gas System has cut emissions dramatically. It resulted in significant benefits for the Kingdom. The company has established several giant plants that extract associated gas and process it rather than burning, as was the practice in the past and is still happening in some countries” he said.

Saudi Aramco gas plants currently process more than 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas for the Kingdom electric power sector as well as for the petrochemical industry, making the Kingdom a key world exporter of petrochemicals.

Al-Musaiid noted that Saudi Aramco has established many sulfur extraction plants that have reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from gas plants and refineries by more than 98 percent. Saudi Aramco is currently moving forward in the implementation of its plans to reduce the burning of flue gas through extracting as much waste gas as possible by creating gas recovery systems.

Kingdom’s Top Officials Talk Technology

21 May 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

RIYADH, May 18, 2011 — The sixth Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, recently attracted some of the Kingdom’s top officials and featured technical training experts and specialists from more than 15 countries.

Among the high-level participants was the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih Chairman of the General Organization for Technical and Vocational Education (GOTEVOT).

Kingdom's Top Officials Talk Technology Officials, including Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, second from right, open the Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Fakeih appeared on behalf of HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Aviation and Inspector General at the three-day event held at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Labor Minister noted that as one of the fastest-growing countries in population that has a large work force and an increased number of job seekers from both genders that has quadrupled in just a few short years, the Kingdom faces a challenge affecting the directions for development channels.

Thankfully, however, the government created the Human Resources Development Fund geared toward creating jobs that are technically and vocationally qualified at private-sector installations, Fakeih said.

GOTEVOT Governor Ali Al-Ghavis pointed to the conference as an effective tool to transferring technical expertise and increasing training in the Kingdom as a part of GOTVE efforts to improve its programs.

Representing Saudi Aramco at the event were Fahad I. Al-Mulhim, chief of the Marketing Team and Training Programs at the National Industrial Training Institute, and Saleh Assabti, deputy manager of Saudi Aramco Affairs in Riyadh.

After the speech, Saudi Aramco was recognized by the Labor Minister for its sponsorship and participation at the conference and exhibit.

A Saudi Aramco presentation for the Labor Minister at the company’s exhibit booth showcased three topics: developmental programs for high school and industrial-technical college graduates; employment procedures and requirements at Saudi Aramco; and an introduction to the National Industrial Training Institute, planned for al-Hasa region as part of a strategic partnership between Saudi Aramco and GOTEVOT.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges

20 May 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

AL-KHOBAR, May 18, 2011 — Hundreds of oilfield experts attended the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Dhahran Geoscience Society largest-ever technical symposium and exhibition in Saudi Arabia this week in al-Khobar.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges Saudi Aramco’s Upstream senior vice president Amin H. Nasser speaks Sunday at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ and Dhahran Geoscience Society’s technical symposium and exhibition.

The three-day event featured 20 technical sessions and more than 70 scientific papers in addition to workshops, courses and an outreach day to encourage Saudi high-school boys and girls to consider energy industry careers. This year theme was Tackling Upstream Challenges: Fueling the World Safely, Reliably and Cost Effectively.

With ever increasing energy demand, this theme is timely, calling for the use of innovative methods, new technologies and improved practices that will take the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry to new frontiers Saudi Aramco Upstream senior vice president Amin H. Nasser told delegates during his keynote speech Sunday.

A lot is riding on the petroleum industry ability to satisfy the ever increasing demand for oil and gas, and doing so safely, reliably, and cost effectively, Nasser said. Striking a balance between these three fundamental objectives is crucial to the sustainability of our industry, and in my opinion, the key to this is people and technology.

He said: Our real assets are our people and we believe that their human brain power is the engine that propels us forward. At Saudi Aramco, we have always been a strong advocate of our people development and we will continue to cultivate means to ensure their professional growth.

Technical sessions included topics ranging from reservoir management and emerging upstream technologies to unconventional resources and advanced rock physics. Dozens of Saudi Aramco employees and executives took part in the sessions as chairpersons or presenters.

Nasser said he was particularly interested in a panel discussion on shale gas from Middle Eastern reservoirs.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges Amin H. Nasser helps kick off the three-day Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) technical symposium and exhibition in Al-Khobar. Alain Labastie, SPE president, right, and Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, left, chairman and CEO for Weatherford, joined him for the ribbon cutting.

As we venture in new frontiers of tapping into the promising tight and shale gas plays within the Kingdom, we will collaborate with our partners in success to develop fit-for-purpose technologies and innovative solutions to bring to light an abundance of energy resources. he said. We are confident that the discussion will trigger and stimulate new ideas to unlock the full potential of this resource.

EXPEC ARC manager Samer S. Ashgar served as the moderator of that event, and Brian E. Gratto, manager of Exploration Resource Assessment, was among the panelists.

EXPEC ARC petroleum engineer Ghaithan A. Muntasheri, the chairman of the 2011 symposium, praised the Young Professionals committee of the Society of Petroleum Engineers for their outreach program to Saudi teenagers.

Under the title Your Future Career more than 500 young men and women got to take part in a full day of informational sessions about engineering and science disciplines and the careers to which they lead.

It is our thank-you note to our great community and a clear message to the young generation that they will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Saudi Arabian economy Muntasheri told delegates at the inauguration of the symposium.

He added: This program will definitely help high-school students make informed decisions about their future careers, resulting in a work force that is highly productive, highly innovative, and more importantly, ready to tackle future challenges and seek every growth opportunity.

The annual event was organized by members of the Saudi Arabia Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Dhahran Geoscience Society.

Nabil Al-Dabal Receives Edwards Medal

19 May 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, May 18, 2011 — The American Society for Quality (ASQ) has awarded Nabil Al-Dabal, former manager of the Inspection Department and current managing director of Aramco Overseas Company (AOC), the 2010 ASQ Edwards Medal for outstanding leadership in quality control.

The medal was slated to be presented May 15 before the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the United States.

Nabil Al-Dabal Receives Edwards Medal Nabil Al-Dabal

The Edwards Medal is given for demonstrating the most outstanding leadership in application of modern quality control methods, especially through the organization and administration of such work,” according to ASQ president E. David Spong.

Spong said the citation reads “for his outstanding contribution to transform the quality culture and performance of a significant work force, the local industry, and the largest oil producer through modern quality philosophy and management methods.

Al-Dabal was recognized for his significant achievements and improvements as a manager, including:

Assuring assets are being engineered, procured, installed, operated, and maintained effectively.

Focusing on integrated quality solutions and on knowledge sharing through a quality leadership program for local industry, academia, research centers, and professional societies.

His laser-like focus on the professional quality growth of the work force.

Al-Dabal managed a department that consists of six divisions and more than 900 employees. The Inspection Department manages and assures the workmanship, quality and on-time services of Saudi Aramco mega-projects. This responsibility involves ensuring the highest quality in the construction and operation of oil and gas plants, refineries and other infrastructure.

Through quality, the Inspection Team contributes to Saudi Aramco’s commitment to meet global energy demands.

The department has transformed from “compliance to requirements” to a “belief based quality performance” and has been recognized by obtaining the highest quality certifications (ISO 9001:2000 “QMS” and ISO 29001:2007 “Oil & Gas Sector-Specific Quality Management Systems”).

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