SHANGHAI, September 22, 2010 — Saudi and Chinese artists brought their brushes to the same canvas at the Saudi Pavilion’s stage to create a piece that bears aesthetic elements from both civilizations and represents the strong bonds of friendship they shared over the past 20 years.
Chinese and Saudi artists collaborate on a canvas that blends the cultures of the two nations into a work of art.
The artistic collaboration took place during the opening week of the Saudi contemporary art exhibition “Nabatt: A Sense of Being,” an exhibition that was presented by the Saudi Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 and held at the Duolun Museum of Modern Art.
The Pavilion’s visitors looked on as three Saudi artists, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Nasser Al-Turki, and Shadia Alem, worked alongside famous Chinese calligrapher He Liangchen in what became a live artistic performance. He described the experience through the Chinese characters he inscribed in the 4-x-1 meter painting, “Inspire your imagination; embrace the past and today”.
The Saudi artists are in Shanghai to participate in Nabatt, which continues until Oct. 31 and displays works of 23 Saudi artists representing the current art scene in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-Chinese artwork created at the event will be displayed at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Cultures.
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, September 22, 2010 — “I thought I’d learn a lot as a summer intern at AOC, and I was right,” said 21-year-old University of Leeds student Mortada Alkadem.
The future petroleum engineer and his four colleagues from Saudi Aramco’s College Degree Program for Non-Employees (CDPNE) in the UK spent part of their summer holidays on the other side of the North Sea by interning at Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC) headquarters in The Hague.
The AOC interns with “mentors” Musaed Al-Thubaiti, from AOC Research and Technology, and engineering supervisor Patrick Ryan.
“During the first week, I sat down with the people from IT and the people from SAP,” said management information systems student Amal Maawadh. After gaining an overview on the roles and tasks of both units, Amal became very much involved in AOC’s eTravel project.
“The comments I made when testing the system were really implemented, so it felt good that I could actually contribute to the operations,” she said.
The students stressed that the internship gave them a good idea of what the first years in a “real” job would be like as well as a good way to get used to the rhythm of working, including getting up early in the morning.
All interns were pleasantly surprised by the friendly and easygoing AOC employees. “Everyone is always smiling in this office,” said Mortada. While Ali Al-Tufaif, born in Qatif on Saudi Arabia’s east coast, added, “The environment in the Netherlands seems more family-oriented than in the UK, but the damp weather and the food are challenging.”
Fortunately for the students, Dutch people love falafel. “There is a falafel shop on every corner!” said Al-Tufaif.
The Dutch language seemed like “Chinese” to the interns, who carry around dictionaries and translate on their mobile phones. But within only a week, all easily found their way around The Hague.
The five summer interns placed at AOC were part of a general summer internship program for high-achieving students administered by AOC’s London-based Professional Development Department (PPD).
In total, 27 CDPNE students — who all have completed the first year of their college degree program — participated in summer internships with companies based in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.
“These summer placement programs, launched in 2007, aim to prepare students for their transition into the work force and to build more advanced skills in the areas of leadership abilities and communication,” said PPD career adviser Mohammed Al-Shehri.
“We look at this as an opportunity for both AOC and the interns to learn from each other,” said AOC engineering supervisor Patrick Ryan, overseeing the project from the AOC side.
“It definitely resulted in both parties improving, growing and achieving results thanks to the excellent collaboration between AOC’s Professional Development Department and the home organization here in The Hague. We look forward to welcoming the next group of students next summer.”
(Article by Femke Baudoin)
MONTREAL, September 22, 2010 — The need for energy — safe, abundant, affordable energy — will continue to grow at a significant rate as economic prosperity spreads and the world’s population adds two billion more people by 2050.
So said Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco president and CEO, at the World Energy Congress (WEC) in Montreal on Sept. 13, where he emphasized the need for world industry leaders to find the optimal balance between energy access and acceptance to help meet global demand.
Khalid A. Al-Falih, company president and CEO, speaks at the World Energy Congress in Montreal, where he said energy needs to become more accessible and acceptable to the public.
The WEC, which meets every three years, drew more than 5,500 delegates from more than 50 countries this year, including chief executives from the world’s largest energy producers, ministers, academics and the media. Participants shared their ideas on energy issues to help find solutions from a global perspective.
Al-Falih talked about the importance of ensuring “energy access.” “Our planet’s population will grow in the coming decades,” he said. “Consequently, we will have to meet the world’s increased energy needs and do so in a responsible manner.”
He talked about “energy poverty,” saying that industry leaders must work together to address the needs of billions of people around the world who currently have no access — or limited access — to modern forms of energy.
However, he said, in recent decades hundreds of millions have been able to enjoy a level of prosperity that was once unimaginable, but is now made possible by energy provided by the oil and gas industry.
“How should we best address the challenges of ready access to affordable energy?” he asked.
His answer: “The world will continue to rely on traditional fossil fuels for the overwhelming proportion of its energy needs for the coming decades.” In fact, these energy sources — coal, oil and natural gas — are expected to account for four out of every five units of energy that mankind will consume for the foreseeable future.
Although fossil fuels’ share in the energy mix may decline in the long run, the absolute quantities of energy coming from these sources will continue to rise as energy demand is set to increase.
Alternative sources of energy should — and must — grow to help meet that rising demand, but major challenges still exist due to technological, economic, environmental, infrastructure and consumer-acceptance issues. “So while progress is being made,” he said, “there is much work still to be done before alternatives take on a more significant share of the overall energy mix.”
The industry should also pursue promising new alternatives. “We must continue to invest in efforts to both increase access to hydrocarbons and improve their environmental performance, given the predominant role they will continue to play in meeting total global energy demand,” Al-Falih said.
He also addressed “energy acceptability.”
“While we fulfill our mandates as energy providers to the world, we also need to meet our responsibilities as stewards of the natural environment and paragons of operational excellence.” He said that there are significant opportunities to make petroleum environmentally friendly, including cleaner-burning fuel formulations, carbon capture and sequestration.
He also said that by focusing on more efficient vehicles, equipment and operating plants, the world could significantly reduce carbon emissions and output of pollutants.
Energy acceptability is not just linked to environmental protection, but also to the safety, dependability and affordability of energy supplies. Al-Falih talked about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and that the petroleum industry should emerge even more robust by absorbing the right lessons from this incident.
Commercial aviation, space exploration, nuclear power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals overcame similar catastrophes in the past and prevailed even stronger.
Saudi Aramco works to achieve a sustained balance between energy access and energy acceptability. “In terms of enhancing access to energy,” he said, “our oil reserves of about 260 billion barrels represent roughly a fifth of the world’s proven reserves. At our current production rate, these reserves are enough for more than 80 years of production.” Over time, these reserves are expected to grow by 40 percent, and oil recovery will improve, as well.
The company also has existing proven gas reserves of 276 trillion standard cubic feet, the world’s fifth-largest, and continues to expand onshore and offshore. “All of these efforts ensure that we will continue to provide vital petroleum energy to the world for generations to come,” Al-Falih said.
Acceptability issues are also on the company’s agenda, he said. “We are producing cleaner fuels from our refineries, and enhancing the environmental protection of our land, air and water resources.” He also said the company is investing in clean fuels and clean engine technologies and CO2 emission management and utilization.
Saudi Aramco is also committed to operational excellence. It is “at the top of our corporate agenda,” Al-Falih said.
This long-standing commitment to the highest performance standards includes health, safety and the environment, and investments in infrastructure, technology and surplus production capacity. Excellence on these fronts is key to ensuring corporate efficiency and productivity, but to ensure “public acceptance,” operational excellence must go beyond that to help address market stability and energy security perceptions.
In his concluding remarks, Al-Falih said that the best way for the energy industry to achieve a sustainable balance between accessibility and acceptability is to engage in “frank but constructive dialogue among all stakeholders.”
“Only by working together,” he said, “can we better understand the complex issues in play, trace the alternative energy paths the world has available for the future, assess the real potential of these alternatives over time, concurrently examine both environmental and economic imperatives, and, finally, recognize the various interests at stake in both the developing and developed worlds.”
Saudi Aramco was a major exhibitor at the WEC, and showcased a newly renovated exhibit booth featuring expanded meeting space, new furniture and a hospitality area.
Representatives from Saudi Aramco’s corporate office and its affiliates, including Aramco Services Co. and Aramco Overseas Co., staffed the exhibit booth.
Several in-booth presentations were given on Saudi Aramco’s advances in seismic imaging, its environmental protection efforts, and Research & Development Center.
(Article by Judi Ottmann)
DHAHRAN, September 13, 2010 — Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, today delivered the keynote speech “Accessibility and Acceptability: Striking the Balance for an Optimal Energy Future” at the 21st World Energy Congress in Montreal, Canada.
Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih addresses the World Energy Congress in Montreal.Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih addresses the World Energy Congress in Montreal.
The triennial World Energy Congress is an international multi-energy forum, organized by the London-based World Energy Council (WEC), and brings together an international spectrum of government ministers and officials, leaders and captains of industries to engage in constructive dialogue about global energy challenges.
The Congress is focusing on the key themes of Accessibility, Availability, Acceptability and Responsibility. Close to 200 speakers from 52 countries will address 5,500 delegates at the Congress from Sept. 12-16.
In his keynote speech, Al-Falih addressed the global challenges confronting the energy industry and the need to provide affordable energy for future generations. He stated with a pragmatic yet optimistic note:
“The forces of progress and development will be sustained in the future, and our planet’s population will grow in the coming decades.
Consequently, we will have to meet the world’s increased energy needs, and do so in the most responsible manner,” Al-Falih said.
Al-Falih stressed that the world will continue to rely on traditional fossil fuels to power economic development for decades to come. It is important to note, he added, that investments in the development of petroleum and in the technologies to make it affordable have helped to generate an unprecedented century of progress and prosperity.
Future generations would need all types of energy sources, and while the development of alternative and renewable energy sources is required, Al-Falih said that a pragmatic approach is necessary to create realistic and rational models of sustainability for future generations.
In that regard, he called for a multi-faceted framework, which better captures the practical reality of acceptability. In his speech, Al-Falih shared Saudi Aramco’s experience and its wide range of activities and contributions in upstream, downstream, research and development to meet the world’s energy’s challenges today, tomorrow and for future generations.
Throughout its more than 75-year history, Saudi Aramco has continued to promote a strong culture of operational excellence, environmental stewardship and safety in all aspects of its operations, Al-Falih said in his address to an audience of key world energy industry leaders.
“Over the next five years, we are undertaking perhaps the most ambitious capital program in the petroleum industry, with an increasing proportion of those funds directed to the gas and downstream oil sectors,” he elaborated.
“The positive impact of these massive investments will continue to be felt for many decades, and our capital program is designed to allow us to play our role vigorously and responsibly in furthering the supply of vital hydrocarbons to the world,” Al-Falih added.
In his closing remarks, Al-Falih lauded the World Energy Council’s work in furthering the global energy dialogue and told the delegates that today’s decisions and actions must seriously consider long-term implications, and those actions must achieve the best possible optimal balance and results to benefit the greatest number of people around the globe.
For the full text of the speech, please visit Khalid A. Al-Falih Speech.
DHAHRAN, September 08, 2010 — “Inspiring the Next Generation” was the heart of the program that took a group of Saudi and UK students to Kenya in early August. Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC) UK coordinated with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and Earthwatch, one of the world’s leading environmental nonprofit organizations, to give the students a chance to work alongside professionals on a ground-breaking research project.
A Saudi student interviews a tribeswoman on her knowledge of the medicinal plants in Kenya’s Samburu region. Her visit was part of a program organized by AOC, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture and Earthwatch to help in groundbreaking research.
The students were selected based on such criteria as their knowledge on environmental issues and their plan for sharing their experience of the expedition.
The seven female Saudi and British students began their eight-day expedition in Kenya to research medicinal plants in the remote Samburu region.
The students worked with representatives from Kenyatta University to research plants in Samburu used to treat illnesses. They engaged in research tasks ranging from locating the plants in their natural form to interviewing the locals on their knowledge of the plants and their medicinal purposes.
The group documented more than 60 plant species used to treat diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria. “All the research tasks are interesting because they are all linked. I never expected to see so many plants. The things that we have learned from the locals are pretty impressive,” said Saudi student Maisam Al-Ahmed. “(The locals) turned out to know more things than we would know in a million years,” she added. “They have information that we have never heard of, and it’s very useful knowledge.”
Students record research data on their findings of medicinal plants in the Samburu region.
Masisam’s parents spoke of their desire for their daughter to participate in the Kenya expedition. “We wanted our daughter to experience new challenges and skills, grow her interest in science, and finally give her a sense of independence and responsibility.”
With the King Abdulaziz Center’s focus on cross-cultural engagement, the expeditions were the perfect platform to allow the students to learn from each other. “We felt the trip was a wonderful opportunity for the students to build cultural foundations,” said Center director Fuad Al-Therman.
AOC Public Relations supervisor Luai Al-Subaiey added: “Feedback from students and parents has been very positive. We hope the environmental lessons and life experience will stay with them forever.”