Aramco ExPats

Category Archive: Pipeline

Robolympics Matches Youth and Machine in Al-Hasa

3 April 2014 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

How are modern cars able to mimic the maneuvers of the most competent driver: park in a narrow space? How do the best surgeons operate on a patient without scalpels? And how do we make robots walk?

Those are among the many questions opening minds at the Robolympics attraction in al-Hasa this week.

Robolympics at the iThra Knowledge Program’s new Generations Oasis Tent is a mental and physical race involving both robot construction and racing. It’s a lively scene in the Oasis tent, with instructors cheering a smart move or a skillful and fast reaction, and the wave spreading to an applauding audience.

Local high school student, Khalid Al-Subayei, already a regular visitor to Robolympics, recalls being cheered on by instructors and volunteers, “because I managed to do all my programming in one minute!”

The program’s new Robolympics attraction opens young minds (ages 8 to 18) to how robotics can contribute to the big questions of science and medicine, as well as the relatively small problems of everyday life, said instructor Abdullah Hazazi.

“During our stay in Al-Hasa, we have already discovered talents that deserve to compete in this field on a high level. Due to the fun and excitement they experience during the program, many kids come back again, and we see a notable progress in their skills,” said Hazazi.

“As instructors, we feel more joy when a child comes back more than once, because that means they have found both entertainment and value in the basic principles of the robotics world.“

In this futuristic oasis, staff member Hadil Al-Essa stands beside trainees and volunteers, waiting to receive a special group of children who will accept a challenge: to engage the electronic computer screens in a conversation – one where the children always win because they control their own creations.

The closely supervised oasis runs four classes, divided between girls and boys. Five specialized female instructors and four male instructors, in addition to 12 trainees, use the concept of “edutainment” to take an average 125 young visitors through the world of robotics each night.

Robots are controlled in three ways, instructor Ibrahim Al-Muhaysin explained: using a computer, installing a program in the robot, or using a computer tablet.

Racing robots can be controlled by robot sensors for colors in some races, or distance and hurdles in others. Race winners receive a medal, while the rest are given a souvenir oasis hat.

The iThra Knowledge Program — designed to celebrate knowledge, creativity and culture — is one of the most successful outreach initiatives in Saudi Aramco’s history. The goal is to reach more than 10 million people across the Kingdom by 2020 as part of the company’s national strategy for a transition to a knowledge-based society.

The program is open daily from 5 to 11 p.m. through April 18. News and updates on the iThra Knowledge Program can be accessed through social media channels (Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook) via a single identifier: @ ithraknowledge.

Saudi Aramco Products Trading Company (ATC) Begins First Lifting of Petro Rabigh Products

1 April 2014 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Saudi Aramco Products Trading Company (ATC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, announced that it has begun the first lifting of chemical products from Petro Rabigh.

ATC’s products lifting from Petro Rabigh will include Polypropylene, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Monoethylene Glycol (MEG).

Said A. Al-Hadrami, CEO of ATC said: “The products from Petro Rabigh will complement our current product portfolio and will leverage the current ATC infrastructure and our customers’ network to add value to Petro Rabigh. With these new products, we can generate more opportunities to further build on our success.”

The ATC announcement comes after Petro Rabigh announced that Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, the majority shareholders of Petro Rabigh, signed an agreement on December 15, 2013, enabling both shareholders to market Petro Rabigh chemical products on an equal basis.

The sales of chemical products will be coordinated and will gradually be increased during the following months to ensure a smooth transition of sales and marketing by ATC of Petro Rabigh’s chemical products.

Saudi Aramco Establishes Finance Chair at KFUPM

30 March 2014 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Saudi Aramco and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) recently signed an agreement to establish a Finance chair at the university.

The event was attended by HE Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sultan, KFUPM rector, and then-senior vice president of Finance at Saudi Aramco, Muhammad Al-Ali, as well as a number of officials from the university and the company.

The chair will be headed by professor Bell Magnosni, a distinguished professor in financial management, specializing in governance, financing, investment and risk management.

Magnosni, who is also the Chair in Finance of the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma, holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University, MBA from Louisiana State University and B.S. in Chemistry from Mississippi College. He has been a visiting professor at the Université Paris-Dauphine in France, Vanderbilt University in the U.S., Humboldt University in Germany, Duke University in the U.S., Boccinoni University in Italy, the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, the University of Zurich and the University of Georgia.

Strategic relations between the company and the university

“The strategic relationship with Saudi Aramco began with the foundation of the university, and recent years have witnessed significant and comprehensive development in all fields of cooperation between the two parties,” said Al-Sultan. “This deep partnership also provides a unique model of the relationship between the industrial and academic sectors, and ultimately serves the development process to build a knowledge-based economy in the Kingdom.”

Al-Sultan commended Magnosni for attending the signing ceremony and welcomed him to KFUPM.

Al-Sultan noted that the presence of Magnosni among the members of faculty would positively affect students and researchers who would be dealing with him directly. In addition, the chair will support other academic programs at the university and develop its profile in administration and financial research.

Al-Sultan told attendees that agreements between Saudi Aramco and KFUPM are of higher quality due to both parties sticking to strict criteria when evaluating each other’s performance.

Supporting high education and vocational institutions

Al-Ali said Saudi Aramco is an important supporter to all high and vocational education institutions in the Kingdom. He explained that the graduates of these institutions are the main source of the company’s human resources; therefore, the company is keen to raise the level of qualifications of the graduates, which will be in turn reflected in the performance and safety of operations in its various facilities.

He also added that the chair will constitute a significant contribution to the College of Industrial Management in KFUPM and will develop it to be one of the best business administration colleges in the world. The college is also a crucial source of qualified employees for Saudi Aramco, and the development of its graduates will benefit the company.

As Saudi Aramco transforms from an oil and gas company into a fully integrated energy company, it will require employees who are highly efficient in financial administration.

Magnosni said his joining KFUPM was based on the reputation of the institute and his several visits. He expressed pleasure to be working at a leading university considered to be one of the best in the region. He indicated that the chair will have academic and research roles, the former concerned with performing and publishing research, and the latter with cooperating with Saudi Aramco to build professional staff, establish joint research, prepare various courses and organize international conferences on financial management.

The head of Finance and Economics Department at KFUPM, professor Muhammad Al-Zahrani, explained that the chair is part of an initiative between the faculty of Industrial Management and Saudi Aramco, and that the university is adopting new methods in operating scientific chairs.

Saudization Campaign Focuses on Contractors

30 March 2014 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

The future Saudi workforce was the central theme of the recent Southern Area Oil Operations (SAOO) Saudization campaign held at an al-Hasa area hotel.

The two-day event had separate sessions for male and female participation and was hosted by SAOO vice president Zuhair Al-Hussain.

More than 900 people attended the event and were able to meet with more than 30 international and local contractors who, in turn, were able to interview and extend job offers to suitable candidates on the spot.

In his opening remarks, Al-Hussain said, “We are launching an aggressive campaign to increase Saudization in our contractor workforce in line with the company’s corporate citizenship value.”

He continued by saying that Saudization not only introduces new jobs for young Saudis but also contributes to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product growth.

“It is a compliance issue and, at the same time, a broader national cause, so we are partnering this campaign with all SAOO contractor companies and want to make sure that you take the lead on this initiative and introduce many more Saudis into your workforce,” Al-Hussain said.

Bader Al-Qadran, general manager of the Southern Area Producing Department, underscored that area management was taking the matter seriously “by reviving our momentum that began with the onset of the campaign to make an effective contribution to the company.”

He also thanked the owners, CEOs, presidents and vice presidents of the attending contractor companies who had made time to attend and contribute.

“You are all our important partners,” he said. “And we will support you in your efforts to bolster the Saudi economy. Therefore, this joint SAOO and contractor campaign is targeting a win-win situation for both parties.”

After the opening remarks, a safety presentation was given by Abdullah Shahrani, which included a short film illustrating the leading causes of road accidents and fatalities such as breaking the speed limit and poorly conditioned cars.

The recognition ceremony was held first to recognize the heads of three charitable societies that had provided most of the job applicants, including the Abqaiq Charitable Society, the Al-Hasa Charitable Society and the Social Education Institute for Girls. Second, the owners, CEOs, presidents and vice presidents of the attending contractor companies who had made time to attend and physically support the employment drive were recognized.

One-hundred fifty candidates were offered positions at the event and more than 700 were screened.

More than 120 contractor representatives manned 30 booths, and were given full authority by their companies to offer positions to suitable candidates.

Heritage Gallery’s Walking Tour Gives Aramcons a Glimpse of Dhahran’s Rich History

30 March 2014 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

DHAHRAN, 03/27/2014 — Do you know where to find the only house to be built in Dhahran with a chimney? Or in which residential garden the first grass was grown? Or maybe you would like to find out which public building has a secret door into its roof or the location of the first dedicated training center for Saudi women.

It may sound like Saudi Aramco trivia, but the answers to all these questions can be found on Dhahran’s Community Heritage Gallery’s History Walking Tour, a recent addition to the CHG tour schedule. Designed to take participants through the heart of the early residential camp of Dhahran of the 1940s and 1950s, the tour includes stops outside historic buildings and sites to interpret their contribution to the development of our community. Along the way, anecdotal stories are shared which have passed into Saudi Aramco folklore. The research and design of the tour was largely completed by docent Alison Hooker with some help from Stevie Furman, retired resident of that era, who was able to help with detailed information about some of the locations of the era.

Response to the tour has been very positive, with the second and third tours being over-subscribed. Participants have included Saudi Aramco “brats,” long-term residents and newcomers to the community. This mix has enabled lively discussions along the walk route about the tour information, sparking questions and memories that have contributed further to knowledge of Saudi Aramco traditions and lore.

Indeed, sidewalk conversations have ranged from the challenges of Abu Hadriya Well No. 1 to strawberries in the Commissary. As one participant observed, ”There are wonderful stories that highlight the human side of such a huge organization and also show how one can make a difference by showing initiative in a variety of areas also outside the job.”

In designing the tour content, Hooker hoped the tour would help participants gain a deeper understanding of the richness of the community in which they live, promoting a sense of continuity and belonging. Feedback from participants has certainly indicated that she achieved that goal.

Saudi Aramco employee Miriam Morrissey commented that the tour gave her “a real sense of what life was like here in the community.” She added that from listening to the facts and stories, she gained a new found appreciation of the company and what it is to be a part of Saudi Aramco, all this despite having already lived and worked here for over 12 years so far.

The Heritage Gallery now offers a number of new services including hosting business meetings on request in its traditional majlis. Tours can be tailored to suit the needs of your group.
Contact heritagegallery@aramco.com for more information.

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