The Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Amr Al-Dabbagh, left, presents the awards to the President and CEO of Petro Rabigh Ziad Al-Labban on Jan. 25 at the Fifth Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh.
RIYADH, February 09, 2011 — Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) recently received two Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) awards for being one of the top companies attracting foreign investments to Saudi Arabia.
The awards were given to Petro Rabigh for ranking first in the two FDI award categories: stock and manufacturing.
The Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Amr Al-Dabbagh, presented the awards to the President and CEO of Petro Rabigh, Ziad Al-Labban, during the last day of the Fifth Global Competitiveness Forum that took place in Riyadh on Jan. 25.
During the recognition ceremony, Al-Labban highlighted the Petro Rabigh project, noting that it is the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex built at a single point in time.
He added that it has attracted investments to the Kingdom that have exceeded SR18 billion and that the company provides about 2,700 job opportunities, 76 percent of which are held by Saudis.
DHAHRAN, February 09, 2011 – Saudi Aramco has agreed to lease storage tanks from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) for the storage of Arabian crude oil at Japan’s Okinawa storage facilities.
Dawood al-Dawood, vice president, Marketing, Supply and Joint Venture Coordination, Saudi Aramco, and Fumiaki Fujita, executive vice president, JOGMEC, sign the agreement for the storage of 600,000 kiloliters of Arabian crude in Okinawa.
The project will secure storage for Arabian crudes in Japan and is also expected to further strengthen the company’s ties in the Asian region, having readily available crude oil supplies for its commercial customers in Asia.
“This agreement further underlines our long-standing relationship and commitment to being a reliable long-term supplier to our customers in the wider Asia region,” said Dawood M. Al-Dawood, vice president of Marketing, Supply and Joint Venture Coordination.
The agreement allows for about 3.8 million barrels of Arabian crudes to be stored at the storage facilities initially, with the option of expanding storage in the future. The first shipment is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2011.
Former Aramco president and CEO Frank Jungers, left, meets the Khurais Producing Control Room operator Mohammed A. Alfashkhy as department manager Yousef A. Furaidan looks on. Jungers is credited with a pivotal role in helping to create the company’s largely Saudi work force of today. (Photo: Majed Alzobaidi)
DHAHRAN, February 09, 2011 — Former Aramco president and CEO Frank Jungers paid a visit to his old stomping grounds recently and got the opportunity to see modern Saudi Aramco in operation.
Frank Jungers, who first came to the Kingdom at age 21 in 1947, was appointed president of the company in 1971, and from 1973-78 he served as the company chairman and CEO. He helped engineer the turnover of the company to Saudi ownership and also played a pivotal role in the creation and training of a Saudi work force that proved to be instrumental in Saudi Aramco’s continued success.
During his visit, Jungers met with president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih and also met with former president and CEO Abdallah S. Jum‘ah.
He also toured several facilities including Khurais Producing, which was discovered in his time and then mothballed until 2006 when work started on the current 1.2 million barrel-per-day facility. He said he was impressed with what he saw.
Frank Jungers is shown throwing out a pitch at a baseball game during his time as president and CEO of Saudi Aramco. Jungers recently visited the company, traveling to Khurais to see operations there for the first time in years.
“I took one day to review Khurais, which is one of the biggest projects Saudi Aramco has ever undertaken, and it was an amazing site,” Jungers said, noting that in his time explorationists missed the true size of the reservoir.
“When we discovered Khurais, it was thought to be rather small, and we didn’t exploit it early,” he said. “It’s amazing what we didn’t see because we didn’t have the technology in those days.
Despite the giant steps forward in oil exploration and production, Jungers said the company’s work force was its most impressive asset.
“I think the biggest change is the rapid development of the Saudi Aramco employees,” he said. “The company has done a very, very good job of expanding the training of these employees, not only the rapidity with which it occurred but with the excellence of the results.
Jungers said employees should be pleased to work for one of the globe’s most unique companies.
“Unhindered by the pressure of private ownership with the attendant short-term financial reporting and fixation on quarterly earnings per share, Saudi Aramco has been able to make visionary and bold long-term investments in new technology, training and development, research, mega-projects and infrastructure,” Jungers said. “The results are a corporation with global reach that is a world leader and a source of pride to employees, stakeholders and the nation.”
DHAHRAN, February 02, 2011 – A new building has changed the Dhahran core area skyline. The highly anticipated Upstream Professional Development Center (UPDC) state-of-the-art facility will soon open its doors to house an updated integrated training program for Upstream Operations employees.
The new building that will house the Upstream Professional Development Center (UPDC) in Dhahran.
All upstream training is being redesigned to combine technical depth and breadth with behavioral skills necessary for upstream professionals to excel in a dynamically changing work environment.
The Challenge and the ‘Big Crew Change’
“UPDC is more than a facility … more than a training program,” said Amin H. Nasser, Upstream senior vice president. “It is Saudi Aramco’s proactive decision to stay ahead of the times. It represents our commitment to prepare our workforce for the unique challenges that lie ahead.”
Participants build camaraderie in the courses. The Event Solutions (the setting here) module is part of the Reservoir Engineering curriculum.
Global energy demands are expected to rise substantially in the next 30 years.
According to Abdullatif A. Al-Ghanim, director of Upstream Continuing Excellence: “UPDC is designed to address unprecedented professional development needs. We have aggressive targets of higher hydrocarbon discovery and recovery factors that require more complex activities and technologies to achieve. Exploration efforts are reaching into new environments, such as the Red Sea and deep gas exploration in the Arabian Gulf.
“The technologies used during routine operations will continue to evolve with new tools and advancements appearing at a rapid pace. With the advent of enormous amounts of real-time data that allow critical operational decisions to be made on the fly, engineers and geoscientists are taking multidisciplinary collaboration and joint decision processes to a new level.”
As part of the Integrated Technical Program, participants visit the core warehouse to study core to better understand subsurface geology.
Perhaps the most immediate challenge that UPDC faces is the “Big Crew Change.” Throughout the oil and gas industry, the bulk of experienced professionals are retiring from the upstream workforce and are often being replaced with inexperienced new graduates.
UPDC is working to bridge the growing upstream experience gap with aggressive training and mentoring programs. Communication and bonding networks now link disciplines to help young professionals tap the wide array of knowledge among senior professionals before they retire.
The UPDC Program
The UPDC training program has been developed for eight upstream job families: Geology, Geophysics, Petrophysics, Reservoir Engineering, Production Engineering, Facilities Engineering, Drilling and Workover, and Upstream Computing.
Field trips and hands-on experience are integral parts of the philosophy of the UPDC. These participants from varying disciplines are describing an outcrop.
Instructional design experts work closely with industry technical experts to design and update training to enhance learning and retention. The training is hands-on with reduced lecturing.
Experiential learning is targeted by numerous practical applications that translate directly to the workplace. Customized technology applications also are integrated into some courses, allowing participants to learn important concepts and quickly perform analyses.
To ensure job relevance, experienced Saudi Aramco subject matter experts teach many of the courses.
Saudi Aramco data, work flows and tools are also incorporated into the training. To help keep the courses fresh, dynamic and flexible, feedback is welcome.
The design integrates multiple resources: senior experience, youthful innovation, history, lessons learned, new technologies, new ideas, continuous information flow and training expertise.
A formal competency assurance process is built into all UPDC courses. Beyond confirming whether trainees are achieving the required competencies, this process assesses the quality of the courses and identifies areas for improvement. A fast track to achieving competency targets is also available. The framework is in place to significantly reduce both knowledge and experience gaps in an efficient manner.
While the new facility was under construction, the UPDC training program was launched. The Independent Contributor curricula for all eight job families were defined. The courses were developed and have been offered throughout 2010 in temporary training facilities.
The UPDC Facility
To support the training of upstream professionals, the new center has 18 high-tech classrooms with wall-to-wall viewing screens, LCD touch screens with 3D capability, and breakout areas. The center provides a drilling simulator where participants perform operations on a simulated rig.
There is also a Cave Automated Virtual Environment where participants are immersed into a variety of Saudi Aramco virtual environments to perform exercises that include inspecting rock and fluid properties “downhole” and viewing the sedimentology and stratigraphy of rock outcrops.
The center houses a Hyper-Dimensional Simulator where participants interact with a reservoir simulator using hand gestures, voice commands and feedback. Local and remote real-time collaborative training is provided for Upstream engineers and geoscientists.
Bridge to the Future
Salam P. Salamy, administrator of UPDC, said he is proud of what the UPDC team has accomplished, adding: “As we look to the complex challenges of the future, it is clear we are moving in the right direction. The UPDC will be the bridge that closes knowledge and experience gaps … enabling Upstream to reach our goal of becoming the best in the industry at developing competent and innovative technical professionals.
“We believe these well-developed professionals will make a difference for the better in Saudi Aramco Upstream. Hopefully, their tide of positive influence will spill over into the global hydrocarbon industry, ultimately giving every society the comforting assurance that we will provide energy for future generations.”
(Article by Melanie N. Dreiman and Heather G. Christensen)
DHAHRAN, February 02, 2011 – A summit of industry and academia gathered here recently at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) to build collaboration in two vital subjects, research and development and preparing an expert workforce.
Under the auspices of Ali I. Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the Second Saudi Meeting on Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production Technologies (OGEP 2010), held Dec. 18-20, drew more than 800 engineers, scientists, technologists, managers, academics, business leaders and government officials from the Kingdom and the world.
Engineers, scientists, technologists, managers, academics, business, leaders and government officials from throughout the Kingdom and around the world viewed numerous displays such as this, as well as technical sessions, panel discussions and more. (Photos: Hasan M. Al-Taraiki)
The KFUPM venue emphasized the role of academia in the future of the industry, said Yahya Shinawi, director general of the ministry’s Eastern Province branch and chairman of the OGEP 2010 Supervisory Committee. The theme was “Academia and Petroleum Industry: Synergy for a Better Tomorrow.”
“The technical committee has assembled one of the richest technical programs ever offered in the Kingdom,” said Abdulrahman S. Jarri, manager of Land Affairs at Saudi Aramco and chairman of OGEP-2010 Technical Committee.
The program included an executive keynote and plenary session, 23 technical sessions, 15 speakers, poster sessions and three panel discussions. A pre-session geological field trip explored the Dammam Dome, and there were seven post-event workshops, along with an exhibition.
The Senior Vice President of Upstream Amin Nasser appears with Abdul-Rahman Al-Abdulkareem and the Rector and CEO of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Khalid Sultan during the awards ceremony for participants and supporters.
“Furthermore,” Jarri said, “we are introducing this year a young professional session where young talents will share with us their learning experiences. And last but not least, for our future industry colleagues and conference first timers, the program also includes for the first time a student-paper contest as part of the technical activities.”
In opening the event, Abdulrahman Al-Abdul Karim, counselor for the ministry’s Companies Affairs, emphasized the growing number of research centers already being built throughout the Kingdom.
In addition to the state-built research centers such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, and those built by universities and Saudi Aramco, other service providers, such as Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, are now building private research centers in the Kingdom.
Abdulrahman S. Jarri, manager of Land Affairs at Saudi Aramco and chairman of OGEP-2010 Technical Committee, speaks at the summit.
These centers will play a significant role in the development of technologies needed by the industry at all stages, Al-Abdul Karim said.
Keynote speaker Khalid A. Al-Buraik, Saudi Aramco’s vice president of Northern Area Oil Operations, told the gathering that the real challenge facing scientists, engineers and specialists would be to develop new ways to reach and extract reserves in order to meet demand, which is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next 20 years as the world’s population reaches 9 billion.
He noted that although the decades ahead would see advancement in renewable sources of energy such as solar, nuclear and biotic energy, fossil fuel would remain the primary source of energy worldwide for decades to come.
Buraik said scientists have confirmed the existence of 14 trillion barrels of oil worldwide and that only about 1 trillion barrels had been produced to date. Recoverable oil, using existing technologies and methods, is estimated at 1.2 trillion barrels.
“It is expected that modern technologies used in the field of oil exploration and production will add 2 trillion barrels to this proven conventional oil reserve as well as 1.5 trillion of non-conventional barrels,” he said. “Thus, there are about 8.3 trillion barrels that are considered highly difficult to recover using known technologies, and this is the real challenge for the scientists and engineers to recover.”
One way to get at that challenging oil, he said, is through the development of talented people and the invention of new technologies. That’s where academic and industry collaboration comes in.
Also at the event, an Executive Keynote and Plenary Session was conducted and moderated by Abdullah A. Al Naim, vice president of Exploration.
Saudi Aramco showcased leading-edge upstream technologies and intelligent-field visualization technologies.
OGEP 2010 was organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, KFUPM and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. Saudi Aramco was a main sponsor.