Aramco ExPats

Category Archive: Pipeline

Rolling Out the New ARB-3 Repair Barge

27 March 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, March 23, 2011 — The newest and latest state-of-the-art Saudi Aramco Repair Barge (ARB-3) recently arrived in the Kingdom after construction in Singapore’s Jurong Shipyard.

ARB01 The ARB-3 barge joins Safaniya Offshore Producing. It is designed to operate in depths from 5 to 60 meters in the Arabian Gulf. The barge provides offshore accommodation for 124 people in a five-tier superstructure.

The barge joins the Safaniya Offshore Producing Department. At 110 meters long, 42.5 meters wide and 9 meters deep, the barge is designed to operate in depths from 5 to 60 meters in the Arabian Gulf.

The ARB-3 provides offshore accommodation for 124 people in a five-tier superstructure on the main deck. Its helideck is situated above those accommodations.

The barge is built for a 30-year lifespan, and its heavy-lift crane can load as much as 550 metric tons.

ARB-3 will provide support to companywide offshore facilities and especially Northern Area Oil Operations in the Eastern Region.

Among the ARB-3’s functions are repair of subsea pipelines, terminal support, plant test and inspections, diving support, structure repairs, abrasive blasting and painting, heavy lifts and platform installations, and recovery and repair of subsea power and fiber-optic cables.

UPM Grads Journey from ‘Vision to Reality’

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

THUWAL, March 23, 2011 — Some of the Kingdom’s leading businessmen gathered March 9 and 10 to celebrate something they have in common: graduating from the University of Petroleum and Minerals, now King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), in 1976.

KFUPM151 Members of the class of 1976 visit King Abdullah University of Science and Technology facilities.

Among the 55 members of the class of ’76 were Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih, Gas Operations vice president Ahmad A. Al-Sa‘adi, Employee Relations and Training executive director Samir A. Al-Tubayyeb, Refining and NGL Fractionation executive director Mohammed A. Al-Omair and other company managers, as well as executives from government and private companies.

“This was truly a great opportunity to reunite with old friends and colleagues, some of whom we have not seen for more than 30 years. The gathering brought back a lot of good memories and stories from school time,” Al-Sa‘adi said.

A major feature of the gathering, held at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, was the presentation about the university, “Vision to Reality,” by Nadhmi A. Al-Nasr, vice president of the university Development Program.

KFUPM1 Nadhmi A. Al-Nasr
KFUPM0 Ahmad A. Al-Sa‘adi

Al-Nasr shared key success factors and the university’s mission to promote science and technical research in the Kingdom and to become a leading research institution.

Participants also toured the school’s facilities including labs, the library, the museum and classrooms.
They also traveled to the village of Thuwal to see the progress of the Thuwal Development Project. The project — the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud — aims at the comprehensive development of Thuwal, the home of the university.

Jobs, schools, medical facilities and cultural centers are in the plans, along with protection of the environment and heritage of the region.

The last reunion for the group was in 2003, when they were hosted by Al-Khafji Joint Operations in the Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Employees Develop Cost-Saving Laser Process

23 March 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

TANAJIB, March 23, 2011 – Three Northern Area Technical Support employees’ invention has helped Saudi Aramco obtain a patent that will save the company significant time and money in determining the amount of solids in jet fuel.

Patentlaser Said Al-Jaroudi and Rashed Al-Hadi were two of the three employees responsible for developing an optical laser method for determining total suspended solids in jet fuel.

Said Al-Jaroudi, Rashed Al-Hadi and Amer Al-Shahri’s “Optical Laser Method for Determination of the Total Suspended Solids in Jet Fuel” was granted U.S. Patent No. 7,889,337 in February.

The invention provides a method to determine the total of suspended solid particles in a liquid. The method includes providing a liquid sample that includes solids suspended therein, illuminating the solids with a light source, collecting light scattered by the solids and correlating the light scattered by the solids with total solids content.

The determination of total suspended solids (TSS) present in jet fuel is an essential specification. Suspended solids increase wear and tear on precision jet engine parts, clog fuel equipment and cause a range of mechanical engine malfunctions such as filter plugging. Typically, the allowable limit of the total suspended solids in aviation fuel is 1 mg/liter.

Patentlaser02 Amer Al-Shahri helped Saudi Aramco obtain U.S. Patent No. 7,889,337 in February.

Before their invention, the only approved method used to determine TSS present in jet fuels was a gravimetric method that includes filtering the solids. That process is time-consuming, requiring three to four hours per sample. It also requires large amounts of fuel.

Al-Jaroudi, Al-Hadi  and Al-Shahri’s invention provides laser optical methods and a system for a simple and quick determination of TSS in liquids such as jet fuel.

With their system, routine sample preparation and analysis typically takes about 10 minutes. Also, a statistical method has been employed with the optical method to improve accuracy.

Not only is the new method about 50 times faster than the gravimetric method, it is also simpler. It requires only ordinary glass containers to hold samples whereas the previous method required an expensive metallic container. Also, the analysis technique of the invention can be done on-site and doesn’t require the samples to be sent to an outside laboratory.

Cost, too, is significantly less with the new invention. A 95 percent cost saving could be achieved through reduced costs in manpower, sample containers and the size of sample needed. Typically, the gravimetric method costs $81 per sample, whereas the optical method costs only $4 per sample.

Sound Waves Keep Gas Turbines Clean

22 March 2011 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, March 16, 2011 — The Research and Development Center (R&DC) is at the forefront of developing and introducing new technologies to support the huge networks of crude oil and gas processing facilities, massive facilities with equipment running round the clock.

Clean Engineers at the Research and Development Center recently developed a technology that maximizes the service life of air filters in gas turbine filtration systems by using sound waves to clean the filters and extend their life.

R&DC has established close relationships with those in the field, where resources from both sides come together to address issues on the front lines. A blend of experience, technology and specialized services has created a unique body of expertise offering unique solutions.

Not long ago, Abqaiq Plants engineer Samer Al-Hakami approached R&DC to propose procedures in which it could maximize the service life of air filters used in gas turbine filtration systems. Filters that are used to remove dust and other impurities were failing far faster than the manufacturer’s specifications.

Gas turbines play a vital role in supplying energy to facilities within the company. They need complex air filtration systems to prevent turbine components from erosion, fouling and hot corrosion.

The air-filter replacement program at Abqaiq Plants, for example, had become so expensive, it attracted the attention of plant management.

Clean1 A close-up view of a turbine filter. A new technology uses sound waves to extend the lives of these filters.

R&DC carried out an extensive study to design and examine ultrasonic (sound waves) technology as a practical, easy-to-apply and cost-effective way to clean the filters and extend their life.

Using sonic cleaning, the researchers found, filters are not only cleaned of dust and dirt but also of organic materials without affecting the physical integrity of the filter.

Environmental scanning electron microscopy, which can produce high-resolution images, reveals details at nanometer level with a magnification of more than 300,000 (about 250 times the magnification limit of the best light microscopes). It was used to examine different cleaning methods throughout the study.

Adopting this cleaning technology for these filters, the company can now reuse more than 10,000 air filters per year that before had been discarded. Not only will that save money but also will contribute to protecting the environment.

According to Mansour A. Al-Shafei and Gasan Alabedi of R&DC, the sonic cleaning process was tested late last year and will be fully operational this year.

Kingdom, Company Seek to Save Heritage

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

DHAHRAN, March 16, 2011 — Under a new agreement, Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities will work together to help conserve the Kingdom’s heritage and environment.

Arch Prince Sultan ibn Salman ibn Abdul Aziz, shown here reviewing a pictorial history of Saudi Aramco, called the company a “first-class national achievement by all standards.”

A Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) was signed March 5 by HRH Prince Sultan ibn Salman ibn Abdul Aziz, president of the commission, and president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih.

The company’s interests in such issues date to a number of important archaeological discoveries during its 75-plus years of exploration and development.

Saudi Aramco is not just an oil company but is a first-class national achievement by all standards,” said Prince Sultan. “We at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities look forward to establishing a special relationship with Saudi Aramco.”

In fact, during a presentation on the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, he said the commission’s treasures were at the disposal of the Culture Center.

The MOC is “a source of great pleasure for us,” Al-Falih said in an interview.

Speaking of the company’s interests in archaeology and the environment, he said, “This is not something new to Saudi Aramco; it stems first from its decades-old principles and national values, and also comes as an extension of its historical efforts in discovering many archaeological sites … along with supporting and funding archaeological excavation projects.”

Al-Falih also pointed to the work of a number of Saudi Aramco employees in finding, preserving and writing about the region’s relics and turning them over to museums and the commission.

The MOC, Prince Sultan said, is part of a new principle of partnership for the commission.

He said the agreement promotes existing cooperation and expands it to include antiquities and urban heritage, which were added to the commission’s duties. It also builds on the groundwork begun early on, when the commission used the company’s expertise to guide its organization and management approach.

The MOC covers such issues as:

  • The conservation and development of archaeological sites, local urban heritage sites and handicrafts.
  • Using Saudi Aramco’s scientific and technical expertise.
  • Exchanging photographs and documents for exhibitions and publications.
  • Coordinating efforts to recover national relics that have been moved abroad.

Areas of cooperation cover two key areas:

  • Exchange of expertise by using the Tourism Information and Research Center, the Commission’s Research and Archaeological Excavation Center and the commission’s departments as sources of information for researchers, and use of Saudi Aramco’s Entrepreneurship Center for submitting proposals to attract tourism investors.
  • Cooperation in marketing and media through exchange of the two parties’ publication content; curbing negative impacts on the natural environment and their surrounding tourist areas; supporting the commission’s adoption of the “Leave No Trace” program to promote eco-tourism; Saudi Aramco’s contribution to the provision of tourist signs in archaeological and natural sites next to its operations; Saudi Aramco’s use of commission-licensed tourist services to organize tours for company employees and guests; and cooperation with the Culture Center for the mutual use of its programs and obtaining its support for exhibitions organized by the commission in the Kingdom and abroad. 

A team of specialists from the two parties will determine areas of cooperation. An initial plan for each area of common interest will be prepared, distributing the two parties’ roles.

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