Category Archive: Pipeline
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is looking to a future built on a knowledge-based economy. At the Saudi Aramco Exhibit’s Summer 10 program, children — the nucleus of the future — are being encouraged to ignite a passion for science.
Children fit bricks and mortar into a framework at Build a City, in the Summer Program’s Discovery Zone.
Inside the spacious, air-conditioned Knowledge Tent is the Discovery Zone, a series of interactive displays that allow children to understand how scientific principles operate in everyday life. The force of gravity is demonstrated with the flow of water and the speed of a toy car on a race track, as well as a lot of laughter.
One of the most popular activities in the Discovery Zone is Build a City, a construction site scaled down for children, created as a joint venture with MET Studios and Saudi Aramco. The structure is a framework that children can build on with specially designed foam bricks, mortar and their imaginations. There are also wheelbarrows and pulleys for moving building materials from one site area to another and traffic signals to control the movement.
The endeavor promotes teamwork, road safety, problem solving and environmental awareness. Trained instructors are on hand to work with the children, enhancing their learning experience. Many children are now repeat visitors to the exhibit and have graduated from building walls to using the blocks to do interior design, creating tables and chairs.
Within Build a City there is also the opportunity to construct a basic arch bridge. The arch is one of the earliest bridge designs. Excellent examples of its efficiency and strength are the ancient Roman aqueducts, still standing in many parts of the world. The bridge construction area provides wedges, a keystone and supports that the children assemble across a gap of more than one meter.
At Build a City, there are wheelbarrows and pulleys for moving building materials from one area to another and traffic signals to control the movement.
The resulting structure illustrates the principle of compression and is secure enough for them to traverse. Nourah Saleh, 11, who had spent the afternoon hard at work on the city walls, said she had enjoyed it very much and would like to become an engineer when she grows up.
In addition to the trained instructors, there is an enthusiastic team of young volunteers who interact with the children on the game tables and assist in the presentations. Faisal Areekan, 19, a business finance student at the U.S. University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, has been volunteering at Summer 10 for three weeks and is one of the 40 volunteers working in the tent. Faisal said he found “seeing kids learning about safety” particularly rewarding. Mad Science, a world leader in hands-on science experiences for children, is staging two live shows a day in the Knowledge Tent. The focus is on imaginative learning and encouraging scientific literacy. The theatrical presentations include a range of fascinating experiments in chemistry and physics that are well received by the young audience.
The Discovery Zone is primarily for children age 6-12 and is open from 4:30-10 p.m. The Mad Science shows take place at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. weekdays and 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekends.
Visit Saudi Aramco Summer Program 2010 for more details.
A virtual world created to position Saudi Aramco as a top lifestyle choice as well as a great place to work was nominated July 7 for the prestigious CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) Recruitment Marketing Awards.
Held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, the black-tie event sought to honor the best and brightest talent in recruitment marketing for 2010.
The “Corporate” page is part of the “World of Saudi Aramco,” which was nominated for a marketing award.
Nominated in the category of Best Digital Recruitment, “The World of Saudi Aramco” is a four-sided, interactive experience and is a component of the EU Jobs website of Aramco Overseas Co. UK (AOC UK) Ltd. It was created in collaboration with digital creative agency Pink Squid.
CIPD is the largest human resources (HR) organization in Europe, with its awards in their 30th year. The Best Digital Recruitment category saw a total of 30 entries being whittled down to just four.
Saudi Aramco was in elite company in the category, with the remaining nominees being the British Army, international investment bank Barclays Capital and Reckitt Benckiser, a British global consumer goods company.
The British Army won the Best Digital Recruitment award, along with four others it was short-listed for.
AOC UK’s chief representative Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri spoke about the team’s pride at being nominated for the first time: “Although we haven’t won this year, we have had an incredible year utilizing online and digital media to attract talent to join the Saudi Aramco work force. Creating an interactive virtual world was the beginning of our journey into digital media.”
The nomination helped to raise awareness of Saudi Aramco in the HR industry while the evening provided a valuable networking opportunity for AOC U.K. staff members.
New Business Development hosted a two-day forum for international executives and technical staff responsible for the development of the High Severity Fluid Catalytic Cracking (HS-FCC) technology.
Executives from Japan, France, the United States and Saudi Aramco discussed a new technology that uses heavy oil in petrochemical processes.
Representatives came from Japan’s Nippon Oil Corp. (NOC), France’s Axens, U.S.-based Shaw Group, and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). With Saudi Aramco, these entities form a consortium working on the technology.
HS-FCC is a breakthrough in the refining and petrochemicals industry thanks to a unique downflow FCC. The advanced technology allows refineries to produce petrochemicals from heavy oils by converting refinery gas-oils into products suitable for integrated petrochemical processes.
The configuration produces more gasoline fuel at the same light olefin yields than a traditional reactor design. Propylene yields of four times greater than conventional FCC operations were achieved in pilot-plant studies. HS-FCC units can produce 20 percent propylene from heavy feedstocks while minimizing fuel gas. Therefore, the high-yield design makes the new process a potentially valuable and competitive platform on which to develop integrated refinery and petrochemical complexes.
The first day of the forum provided a broad view of the current status of the project, which included an update by NOC regarding the 3,000-barrel-per-day precommercial plant in Mizushima, Japan, and a discussion on potential HS-FCC opportunities in-Kingdom initiated by the Facilities Planning Department. The second day enabled all participants to get a more detailed understanding of the technical aspects of the HS-FCC process and next steps.
The goal of many refiners is to increase production of high value products. This breakthrough was the hope of the research consortium, which not only saw the potential of maximizing the original FCC process but also the additional economic value it would produce. As Saudi Aramco executive director of New Business Development Motassim Maashouq noted, “Refiners are urgently seeking to improve profit margins, and this new technology provides a key solution to achieve this important objective.”
Leading the effort for more than 15 years, NOC has provided significant investments, including technical research, demonstration facilities and, most recently, the construction of the precommercial facility in Mizushima. “Our goal is to leverage the cooperative relationships that we have in this multinational group and to encourage this new refining technology,” said Hiroji Adachi, NOC’s executive officer and general manager.
In the second phase, NOC worked closely with Saudi Aramco and KFUPM to design and build a 30 bpd demonstration unit at the Ras Tanura Refinery. This year, NOC embarked on the third phase with the assembly of the 3,000 bpd precommercialization plant. Completion and production are expected in 2012.
Saudi Aramco has been active throughout the development process, especially during the second phase, by ensuring a natural scale-up progression from the laboratory at KFUPM to a commercial unit at a refinery complex.
HS-FCC is a more selective process than conventional FCCs and can use a wide range of feedstocks to maximize production of propylene and other higher value refinery products such as ethylene and butylene. “The industry is looking for much higher value-added processes than are available from conventional FCCs used by the refining industry,” said Dr. Halim Hamid, assistant to the vice rector for Technology Development and Industrial Relations at KFUPM. With that in mind, the forum continued discussions on next steps with the hope of sustaining the current momentum.
According to Axens and Shaw, the consortium’s technology licensors, the parties will soon begin discussions regarding how to implement this process in worldwide applications. “We are excited about promoting our new technology to refiners seeking the most innovative process known for higher propylene production,” said Axens’ Jean-Paul Gouzard, executive vice president of the Process Licensing Business Unit.
With the continued collaboration of the global alliance, the HS-FCC process will be fully proven after start-up of the precommercial unit in spring 2011.
Axens and Shaw will participate in the final development and deployment of the HS-FCC technology with NOC, Saudi Aramco and KFUPM. While there will be more challenges ahead and a great deal of work to be done, the consortium looks to the future and the opportunities the new technology could provide. “We are confident that this next-generation technology will greatly increase the profitability of refineries,” said Roger Aiello, senior vice president of Sales, Strategic Planning and Proposals at Shaw.
For a moment, it could’ve been a South African city, with all the soccer jerseys, the flag-painted faces and the cheers for different World Cup teams. But it wasn’t South Africa. Far from it! It was nearly the other side of the globe; World Cup fever had reached all the way to Shanghai, where another global event is taking place.
World Cup winner Saudi Arabia and supporters are shown, including Said Al-Ghamdi, standing, third from left, team captain Haitham Gatan, crouching at center, and Sami Al-Harthi, behind Gatan in white.
At Expo Shanghai 2010, the largest in the history of expos, the nations that had teams in the World Cup displayed the matches on large screens in and outdoors and invited staff from other pavilions to watch the games, helping fulfill the main aim of an expo, cultural exchange. The Mexico Pavilion had a large party for the opening match that saw its team play South Africa, and where visitors’ cultural experience for the night included nachos, tacos and quesadillas.
Argentina is now probably rethinking its plans to invite Lionel Messi, Argentina and Barcelona superstar, to its pavilion in Shanghai after a disappointing loss to Germany and exit from the World Cup. On the other hand, the Spanish Pavilion had an all-nighter of Flamenco fun the night its team snatched the World Cup for the first time. The Spaniards, unlike the Dutch, will probably continue their fiesta for the remainder of the expo, which is to last until the end of October.
South African World Cup fever enticed Shanghai expo organizers to set up a mini-World Cup among teams from expo pavilions. The final stages of the championship included Spain, Germany, China, Saudi Arabia, Shanghai, France, Italy and Argentina.
After losing the opening match to Spain, 2-1, Saudi Arabia made a remarkable comeback and took the Expo World Cup championship after winning all its subsequent matches, including the final against China, 4-2.
The Saudi team comprised an interesting variety of players, including captain and Aramco Overseas Co.-Shanghai employee Haitham Gatan; Saudi Aramco-sponsored Shanghai student Sami Al-Harthi, who scored two goals in the final match; and a number of players, including the goalie, from the dancers of the Arts and Cultural Society of Jiddah, who are in Shanghai to dazzle visitors with displays of Saudi musical culture. They had a bit of soccer dazzling in them as well and helped bring home the expo soccer gold.
(Article by Khalid Altowelli)
Saudi Aramco and Aramco Services Co. (ASC) continue to show leadership in developing industry standards that are helping promote operational efficiency and safety throughout the world.
ASC engineering specialist Joseph Thorp was recently honored at an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee meeting in Rome for his leadership in developing American Petroleum Institute (API) standards within ISO. In particular, he co-developed API/ISO machinery standards for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries that have become the most referenced around the globe.
ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards, with a network of more than 160 member countries. Industry groups, such as API, cooperate with ISO to develop and draft standards related to their areas of interest.
Thorp is chair of API’s Subcommittee on Mechanical Equipment, which includes more than 100 members representing such oil majors as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total. He is credited with outlining a strategic map in 1996 as a member of API’s International Standards Coordinating Committee that paved the way for his subcommittee’s work to be adopted in more than 35 countries, including China, Russia and Brazil. According to API, the widespread adoption of these standards is having a positive effect on environmental and commercial interests. Benchmark studies have shown that API-compliant equipment has the highest safety and reliability outcomes, and lowest emissions in the world.
“This worldwide acceptance places Saudi Aramco at the forefront in helping to create globally recognized standards that allow projects to operate more efficiently everywhere,” said Majid Al-Ghaslan, manager of ASC Technical Services.
Ali Abuali, ASC president and CEO, added, “Standards development participation is a strategic investment in human assets. This effort allows us to make key contacts with industry leaders, better understand the market in which we operate, obtain competitive intelligence on emerging technologies and benchmark our own work processes.”
ASC Engineering provides a broad range of engineering and project services to Saudi Aramco. They include supporting the company’s project teams based in North America; identifying and developing technical products and services that might enhance the company’s operations; participating in joint industry programs to review emerging technologies; and involvement in national and international standards development committees such as API, ISO, NACE International, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
(Article by Judi Ottmann)