Category Archive: Pipeline
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, April 20, 2011 – Aramco Overseas Co.’s headquarters in The Hague played host recently to its seven chief representatives at the company’s satellite offices during AOC’s Chief Representative Meeting.
The chief reps and other members of the Aramco delegation enjoy the afternoon sunshine in The Hague before visiting the Escher Museum.
The program was attended by Wajdi Almugbel (AOC Shanghai), Ahmed Al-Zahrani (AOC Tokyo), Fawzy Al-Habib (AOC India), Meshal Al-Anazi (AOC Singapore) Luai Al-Subaiey (AOC UK) and Abdulilah Al-Shehri (AOC Italy), who took part in a series of conferences, meetings and workshops at AOC headquarters.
They were designed to inform the representatives about operations in The Hague, the functions and activities of each division there, and how each division can assist the satellite offices. In addition, each chief rep gave a presentation about his office and its business responsibilities.
More than 40 representatives from each AOC division also attended the week of meetings and workshops and gave comprehensive presentations regarding the work of their divisions.
Chief reps were also briefed about AOC’s new corporate values — Accountability, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation and Citizenship — which are being rolled out across all AOC offices.
In a break from the program, on March 7, the chief reps visited the headquarters of Shell in The Hague for “Saudi Day.” The event taught the audience about the culture and history of Saudi Arabia, and included information about Saudi Aramco/AOC’s joint ventures with Shell in Saudi Arabia and around the world.
The chief reps also recently took part in a “cultural afternoon” in The Hague. They first visited the Escher Museum, which features the intricate and fantastic works of Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
After the museum visit, they attended a screening of Arabia, a film documenting the culture and history of the Arabian Peninsula, at Omniversum IMAX Theater in The Hague.
Connecting with colleagues from other AOC offices and embracing the team and “family” spirit of Saudi Aramco and AOC was one positive aspect of the week, according to Al-Anazi, Al-Habib and Al-Shehri.
“Now I truly feel part of the AOC family,” Al-Anazi said. “I feel it was a success for all of us,” said Al-Subaiey, “and provided the platform for a deeper level of collaboration between each office.”
YANBU’, April 20, 2011 — How can Saudi Arabia’s growing downstream industry create more work opportunities for Saudis?
Why is plastic piping sometimes imported when it could be manufactured locally using materials available in the Kingdom?
Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain
These and other questions sparked discussions between a panel of private Saudi industry leaders and audience members at the recent two-day Saudi Downstream Strategic Forum and Exhibition held at a Yanbu‘ hotel. The forum focused on the task of localizing the downstream industry and creating more work opportunities for Saudis.
The forum, which was thought to be the first in Saudi Arabia to focus on the downstream petrochemical and mineral industries, brought together industry and government leaders to discuss new technologies, industries and the investors’ key role in the diversification of the Kingdom’s economy.
During the panel discussion, one of many conducted at the forum, Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, vice president, Chemicals, addressed the challenges that face the petrochemical industry and Saudi Aramco’s strategy to address related issues.
Al-Judaimi said the company employs various methods to combat the challenges facing the industry. They include:
Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi receives a memento for his role in the Saudi Downstream Strategic Forum.
Striving to diversify into products that offer new uses, which in turn emphasize value-addition to the product.
Pursuing innovation with a focus on research and development of techniques.
Improving human resources by focusing on skills, talent and attracting quality investment to the local industry base.
Al-Judaimi emphasized that Saudi Aramco puts this approach into practice, exemplified by the many joint ventures it has initiated in the Kingdom’s downstream industry.
Using the first and second stages of Petro Rabigh as an example of the company’s developmental strategies in the industry, he stressed the need to provide work opportunities for Saudis.
This has been done by teaming up with key learning institutions such as King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology to design graduate programs that suit the needs of the downstream industry.
It also gives the company access to a realm of research and development of technologies as well as up-and-coming talent throughout the Kingdom.
As part of Saudi Aramco’s participation at the forum, Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain, director of Joint Venture Development, described the partnership with Sumitomo Chemical as a clear example of diversifying petrochemical production as part of a the company’s strategy.
This is especially true considering that the Petro Rabigh project covers 240 hectares and is a fully self-sustaining complex with opportunities for foreign and local investments for basic and downstream production.
Meanwhile, other presentations given at the forum addressed the shift in policies designed to make the Kingdom not only competitive internationally but also to become the leading petrochemical producer in the world.
The forum also defined how the Kingdom has placed a firm commitment to developing international partnerships in the chemicals-derivatives and energy-intensive industries.
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 20, 2011 — Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabia inventors won 17 awards at the 39th Geneva International Inventions Exhibition.
Dr. Ezzat M. Hegazi receives an award for the best invention at the Geneva International Inventions Exhibition.
Dr. Ezzat M. Hegazi, Abdullah H. Al-Grainees and Maha A. Sayegh from the Research and Development Center received a gold medal with distinction for their invention, “Laser Oil Fingerprinting — Desert Ray Instrument,” and received a second award from the Swiss Tourism Board as the best invention at the Geneva Inventions exhibition.
The April 6-10 event was sponsored by the Swiss government, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the state and city of Geneva. There were more than 750 exhibitors from 45 countries showcasing 1,000 new inventions from companies, individuals, universities and others around the world.
More than 100,000 people visited the exhibition. Seventeen medals — four gold, seven silver, five bronze and a Geneva award — were won by King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Princess Nora University and individual Saudi inventors from around the Kingdom.
From left, Awad M. Al-Mofleh, technical program director; inventors Abdullah H. Al-Grainees and Dr. Ezzat M Hegazi; Dr. Omar S. Al-AbdulHamid; Yazeed A Al-Dukhayyil, coordinator of Analytical Support Division; and Abdullah M. Al-Ghamdi, supervisor of the Advanced Analytical group, celebrate the awards from the Geneva International Inventions Exhibition.
Dr. Mohammed A. Al-Ansari, director of Saudi Aramco’s Technology Program, said Saudi achievement at the exhibition was due to investment by the Kingdom and the company, which provide the kind of environment that motivates innovation, patenting and talent development.
Saudi innovation, Al-Ansari said, has been converted into applicable and marketable solutions and services that are adding value, bringing high returns on investment and boosting the nation’s economy and its competitive position in the world of invention and excellence.
He said Saudi Aramco had entered with just one invention to give other entities in the Kingdom a chance to show their inventions. As a result, 18 inventions sponsored by Mawhiba competed in the Geneva exhibition.
Dr. Omar S. Al-AbdulHamid, manager of Research and Development, said the Laser Oil Fingerprinting invention was a recognition on a global stage of the company’s capabilities. He added that events such as this were a great way to interact, learn and expand inventors’ abilities.
Hegazi said the event was a great experience to learn from and has allowed Saudi inventors to connect with others and showcase their inventions.
PARIS, April 13, 2011 — In his keynote speech at the Second International Energy Forum (IEF) NOC-IOC Forum here April 7, president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih stressed the need for petroleum companies to “revisit our concept and philosophy of business.
Khalid A. Al-Falih speaks to International Energy Forum delegates.
He urged NOCs and IOCs to leave behind outdated modes of thinking and models of cooperation and go beyond “simply supplying energy to realize true sustainability. Al-Falih said that concept required inclusion of a wide range of priorities, from energy, economy and society to technology, infrastructure and the environment.
What is the larger public good that we serve as petroleum enterprises?” Al-Falih asked the audience before dividing the industry’s response into three phases.
The early mission” of oil companies, he said, was limited to finding and producing oil and getting the product to the consumer. That was adapted to encompass the growing importance of public health related to oil products, environmental safeguards and the safety of employees and operations.
Despite these initiatives, shortcomings in economic transformation and job creation have led to a third generation of societal expectations. Al-Falih said: It is increasingly apparent that people are willing to grant the energy and oil industries … a social license to operate only if our business activities have a wider and positive ripple effect in the markets and communities where they conduct their business.
He argued that true sustainability, which includes all three phases, is “very much in our self-interest as corporations.
He then set out three key imperatives to achieving those goals: the creation of a practically workable, optimum future energy mix that leverages local resources while addressing the issue of energy poverty; ensuring the adequacy, affordability and acceptability of energy supplies to meet rising demands while maintaining industry profitability; and striking a balance between natural resources, food, water, energy, economic growth and the environment.
Put simply, Al-Falih noted that energy companies are required to do far more than merely supply oil; popular expectations now include the promotion of development, and the production of progress and prosperity. “There are no more easy rides and no more free lunches to be had,” he said.
Furthermore, petroleum companies will benefit by developing a clearer understanding of the future energy world. “Demand for petroleum will taper off in OECD countries over the next quarter-century,” he said, “but incremental consumption growth in emerging markets and developing economies will more than compensate for those declines, heralding a fundamental redrawing of the global demand map.”
While such a statement provided a relative assurance of the demand, the supply side was far from certain. Al-Falih noted that tremendous speculation surrounds the “exact nature of the future energy mix and the outlook for shifting source allocations.” He pointed out that a balance needs to be struck between economic growth and development on the one hand and environmental stewardship on the other.
“Activities like local economic development, the creation of new employment and professional opportunities, and strengthening local communities are no longer ‘nice-to-dos,’ but instead have become ‘must-haves’ for successful and sustainable petroleum enterprises,” he said.
Turning to NOC-IOC cooperation, Al-Falih cited several areas of partnership, such as human-resource development and cross-training, collaborative approaches to environmental issues, and joint research and technology projects.
He referred to Saudi Aramco’s pride in its joint ventures as an example of the company’s belief in capitalizing on mutually beneficial opportunities.
He illustrated some of the ways the company has put sustainability into action. “We have long been focused on trying to leverage everything we do to promote the development of the Saudi economy and society, because such contributions are an integral part of our corporate mission.”
He added that upstream focus was on the “careful, prudent stewardship of the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources,” before pointing out that Saudi Aramco’s long-term ethos was “a key differentiating factor between (the company) and many operators … as we emphasize the long-term management of our reservoirs alongside economic optimization.”
By comparison, Al-Falih said, Saudi Aramco’s downstream portfolio is aimed at adding value to the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources “and driving the creation of new jobs.” Each objective of the company’s downstream strategy “is designed to contribute to the nation’s prosperity in ways that are tangible, valuable and sustainable.”
Investment in research and development involving upstream and downstream technologies, as well as a commitment to creating a knowledge-based economy in the country, reflects Saudi Aramco’s recognition that the impact of its work and responsibilities to stakeholders “don’t stop at the gates of our refineries, gas plants and petrochemical complexes or the perimeters of our producing fields.”
He closed his address by urging energy companies to consider the hopes, aspirations and expectations of their stakeholders as “central elements in (their) business strategies,” and to address the sustainability challenges of the social and economic development of their communities alongside business profitability and environmental protection.
With so many unknowns ahead, Al-Falih said one thing is certain: The oil business of the future will not resemble that of the past and neither will society’s expectations.
DHAHRAN, April 13, 2011 – Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. (SATORP), the Saudi Aramco joint venture with French oil giant Total S.A., is a big deal not only for the company and the Kingdom, but also for the world of finance.
Sixteen-year financing for the mega-project, which closed in October, has since won two international awards.
The people behind the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. financing appear in Dubai to accept the Middle East Oil and Gas Deal of the Year award from Project Finance Magazine.
In January, Project Finance International (PFI), one of the industry’s leading journals, recognized the SATORP financing as the Middle East Petrochemicals Deal of the Year during its awards ceremony in London. And in February in Dubai, SATORP was recognized by another of the industry’s best-known journals, Project Finance Magazine, as the Middle East Oil and Gas Deal of the Year.
The awards reflect the size of the transaction, the strength of the sponsors, the benchmark pricing and the multi-source financing of the deal.
“The deal is significant not only for its scale and low debt margins so soon after the credit crunch,” Project Finance Magazine said, “but it is also the first time since the 1990s that project finance banks have accepted net refinery margin risk (the ups and downs in profits due to changes in refined product and crude oil prices in the market) on a greenfield (new) project.”
SATORP’s financing was well-received by a diverse group of local, regional and international banks.
The large number of project lenders is a sign of commitment and confidence in the project, the sponsors and the Kingdom, organizers say. The 19 loan facilities include dual-currency (U.S. dollar and Saudi riyal) commercial and dual-currency Islamic facilities, seven export credit agencies (ECA) and local developmental agencies.
ECA financing included direct and covered loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Export-Import Bank for Korea (KEXIM), the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. (K-sure), Spain’s Companía Espanola de Seguros de Credito a la Exportacion, France’s Compagnie Francaise d’Assurance pour le Commerce Exterieur, Germany’s Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs-AG, and Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance.
There are also Saudi riyal facilities covered by KEXIM and K-sure, which, according to experts, is unprecedented in the project-financing market. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund loan was instrumental in the close of this landmark transaction.
Jamal Al-Rammah, general manager of Corporate Project Finance Development, said SATORP’s financing is an important landmark, with the largest number of financing facilities in any one project, sourced from a broad and well-respected collection of financial institutions. That means favorable pricing for SATORP, which will pave the way in the post-financial-crisis era for further mega-project financing in the region.
“SATORP’s financing was challenging and complex due its size and the many parties involved, and both of these awards are a huge honor,” Al-Rammah said. “This accomplishment would not have been achieved without the teamwork exhibited among Finance, New Business Development, Domestic Joint Venture Development and Law working together with our partner.”