Aramco ExPats

Category Archive: Pipeline

Ibtikar Puts Focus on Innovation

19 December 2013 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco teamed up with the Mawhiba group to present the third Ibtikar Exhibition Dec. 1-5 in the Kingdom’s capital city under the theme “Creativity Builds a Knowledge Society.”

Innovation took the spotlight at the event, which featured hundreds of workshops, lectures and related events in addition to the exhibition, which drew more than 1,700 entrants in several categories. The event’s Scientific Committee reviewed the entries and narrowed the field to 210, including 110 from Saudi men and women students and 100 from university research centers.

Among the entries, 30 patents were registered at the Saudi Patents Office, representing 15 percent of the exhibition finalists.

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih spoke at the event and put the innovation displayed there in context.

“As real creativity is a never-ending accumulation of achievements, no words will suffice to repay creative people as their ultimate goal is to contribute to the development and progress of their societies,” he said, noting that the company is honored to partner with the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) to bring such events to the Saudi people.

The Kingdom’s Minister of Education and Mawhiba vice president HH Governor Faisal ibn Abdullah ibn Mohammed opened the event and took pride in the hundreds of achievements of young Saudi men and women showcased there.

“What we see here reflects the true image of the Kingdom’s progress and prosperity,” the Minister said. “The Ibtikar Exhibition is a source of pride and honor for all of us as the participating pavilions and innovations embody remarkable progress on all sides.”

The Minister toured the Saudi Aramco pavilion and was welcomed by Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, the company’s acting executive director of New Business Development. Saudi Aramco Affairs department managers Abdulla I. Al-Isa and Mae S. Mozaini also were on hand to greet the Minister.

During the event’s closing ceremonies, Al-Khowaiter noted that the first Saudi patent was filed in the name of Saudi Aramco and that the company now has 260 international patents and another 535 patents pending.

“Ibtikar has become one of the most important regional exhibitions specialized in spreading the culture of innovation throughout the Saudi society, honoring creative Saudis and bringing together innovators, businessmen and those interested in the development of industries alongside international experts under the same roof,” Al-Khowaiter said.

He also detailed the company’s commitment to the Kingdom and its people.

“Social responsibility is not new to its system of operation. It’s an established part of the company’s core values as embodied in the value of citizenship,” he said. “Based on this role, we contribute greatly to encouraging young Saudis to innovate and invent whether through the various company programs directed to students or through the efforts exerted by Wa’ed, a company to assist young Saudis transform their ideas and inventions into projects by supplying them with material support and technical advice.”

The event was held under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, who also serves as president of Mawhiba.

Energy Efficiency Takes Center Stage

19 December 2013 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Embracing energy efficiency is crucial to the future of the Kingdom, Saudi Aramco and the wider Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), the first installment of a major new sustainability conference has been told.

Saudi Aramco was the Elite Platinum sponsor of the 1st Energy Management Conference and Exhibition held last week in Bahrain.

The company’s acting executive director of New Business Development and conference chairman, Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, described the two-day event as a unique opportunity, saying, “We must adopt a pragmatic approach that enhances the performance and efficiency of traditional energy sources while increasing the viability of alternatives. We must be willing to make the timely and extensive investments required. And we must commit ourselves to working collaboratively rather than at cross purposes.”

Al-Khowaiter noted that technology and promising alternative energy sources can make a difference as growth in worldwide energy demand continues to rise, adding that Saudi Aramco is actively investing in the development of energy efficiency.

“Since its early days, Saudi Aramco has been well aware of the importance of the efficient utilization of the resources it produces. Accordingly, Saudi Aramco has launched several initiatives to improve the utilization of energy through the use of cost-effective innovative solutions and efficient resource management practices.”

Cogeneration plants, Al-Khowaiter said, are now incorporated into the design of almost all Saudi Aramco plants. The technology has a thermal efficiency of more than 80 percent compared to conventional generation and its 40 to 50 percent of thermal efficiency.

He highlighted the company’s commitment to renewables such as the development of the largest carport solar photovoltaic system with a 10 megawatt capacity at its Al-Midra Building in Dhahran.

The Saudi Aramco Energy Venture subsidiary (SAEV) also has a mission to invest globally in startup and high-growth companies with technologies that are of strategic importance to the company.

The Energy Management Conference was officially opened by HE Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Finance, and Oil and Gas Affairs. Saudi Aramco professionals gave a number of presentations during the conference’s technical program.

Among the keynote speakers was Nabil Al-Nuaim, director of Kingdom Economic and Energy Analysis Department for Saudi Aramco. He spoke about the role of energy efficiency programs in sustainable development.

“Resource rich nations such as GCC countries are developing and implementing energy efficiency programs to preserve their natural resources and secure the greatest benefits to their citizens throughout the resource life cycle,” he added. “Avoiding wasteful consumption leads to sustainable energy and a solid planning framework that integrates the decision and execution processes to manage trade-offs and maximize the value of energy use.”

Saudi Aramco also had a booth at the exhibition where the company’s “Lead by Example” energy efficiency program was showcased.

Several Saudi Aramco experts gave presentations over three different conference tracks. Dr. Nour Eldin Mahmoud Bahy gave a talk titled “The Future of the Industrial Energy Efficiency is Now with Eco Industrial Parks.” Bahy explained the savings that can be made through the integration of power at such parks.

Raed Al Shneiber discussed Saudi Aramco’s experience with energy intensity and its efforts to make savings, and engineer Fahad Otaibi gave details of an atmospheric distillation unit retrofit to save energy and energy-based GHG emissions.

Company Engineers Play Major Role in International Technical Conference

19 December 2013 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Electrical engineers dedicated to solving operational challenges within the petroleum industry gathered recently in Chicago for the 60th annual 2013 Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC) Technical Conference — presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Industry Applications Society (IAS).

The annual event draws together the industry’s best to discuss and provide solutions to help ensure reliability and safety by addressing such challenges as aging equipment, harsh weather conditions and other risk factors that can greatly impede operations.

Engineers from Saudi Aramco and Aramco Services Co. (ASC), who all are members of IEEE, played a major role at the conference, which this year attracted more than 2,000 participants and guests from around the world.

Providing the opening keynote address was Donald Dunn, general supervisor of the ASC Engineering Services Division, who is serving as the 2013-14 chairman of IEEE IAS PCIC.

The PCIC “brand,” he told listeners, is synonymous with excellence. “Throughout its 60-year history,” he said, “the organization raised the bar on excellence by consistently recognizing and awarding engineers who developed and presented papers on the most successful reliability processes.”

He added that the organization has grown on an international scale by staging technical exchange programs around the world (PCIC Brazil, PCIC India, PCIC Europe, PCIC Mexico, and soon, PCIC Middle East). It has also expanded its mentoring and scholarship programs to support the next generation of electrical engineering professionals.

During the technical program, a group of Saudi Aramco engineers presented a case study titled “Rotor Hot Spot Detection and Resolution in Large Oil and Gas Industry Motors.” The paper, authored by Salah Al-Ali, Rami Dabbousi and Yousef Al-Rasheedi, addressed their methodology for detecting rotor hot spots.

Saudi Aramco engineer Basem A. Helmi coauthored a paper that was presented titled “The Application of Power Factor Correction Capacitors to Reserve Spare Capacity of Existing Main Transformers.” It covered a unique application involving power factor capacitors. The other coauthors were engineers from ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co. and Worley Parsons.

In addition to providing the opening keynote address, Dunn presented a technical paper that he coauthored along with two others from GE Power Conversion. The paper, titled “Black-Out Test vs. UV Camera for Corona Inspection of HV Motor Stator Endwindings,” showed how the use of a UV camera provided safer and more reliable detection of corona versus the previous method that involved turning the lights out and visually inspecting the stator.

During an awards luncheon, Dunn presented ASC engineer Jim Bowen, who is an IEEE Fellow, with a Prize Paper Award (honorable mention) for a technical paper he co-wrote and presented during the 2012 PCIC Technical Conference. It was titled “The Effects of System Grounding, Bus Insulation and Probability on ARC Flash Hazard Reduction — The Missing Link.”

Environmental Campaign Hosted in Ras Tanura

19 December 2013 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

More than 25,000 visitors from Rahima, Safwa, Dammam, Anak, Saihat and other communities stretching as far away as Riyadh, recently attended a three-day environmental campaign organized by the Ras Tanura Refinery Engineering Department in conjunction with Ju’aymah NGL Fractionation, Ras Tanura Producing, Ras Tanura Terminal, Marine and Northern Area Community Services.

The 2013 Ras Tanura Area Environmental Awareness Campaign was officially opened under the patronage of the Governor of Ras Tanura and the heads of various security, civil defense and the Frontier Guard detachments in the greater Ras Tanura area.

Conducted under the auspices of Omar S. Bazuhair, executive director of Refining and NGL Fractionation, the event covered an area of about 20,000 square meters of grass installed along the Rahima Corniche by Saudi Aramco in coordination with local contractors.

Among those helping inaugurate the event was Abdullah O. Al-Baiz, general manager of the Ras Tanura Refinery, other members of management from Ras Tanura, as well as invited personalities from the government and general public within the local communities. The inauguration at the main tent saw the release of more than 150 kites by enthusiasts brought in from across the country.

Three massive tents were erected for programming designed to raise educational awareness concerning pressing environmental issues. According to organizers, it was a challenge to engage multiple live performances by many energetic troupes brought in for the purpose.

Family oriented fun and games were found throughout the site. Within each location were surprises for all members — young or old — including kite-making and “flying for keeps” by the kite-makers.

Participants included male and female students from more than 50 schools and charitable organizations dedicated to the care of orphaned and disabled children.

The campaign used educational and entertainment activities, motivational speakers, an associated exhibition, play and kids’ sections, hot and cold food and beverages, and many competitions with prizes for those who won.

Event lead organizer Saad Binmatlig, Engineering Division head of the Ras Tanura Refinery, expressed his satisfaction with the turnout. “It is extremely fulfilling to see families learn about the environment while enjoying their time,” he said. “We developed a program that met the expectations of the visitors and preceded that with aggressive media coverage that helped attract 25,000 visitors compared to 10,000 in 2012.”

Additionally, 190 bus trips for visitors from neighboring towns and villages were arranged.

Aside from the environmental message, the event also coincided with the World Day for Challenging Disability, with many disabled visitors taking full advantage of the activities.

The event also coincided with the conclusion of four weeks of sporting competition with the completion of the Ras Tanura Rally jointly organized by Saudi Aramco and Rahima Sporting Club.

Desert Seas

19 December 2013 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

As it weaves its way through the reefs in the underwater world of the Red Sea, the 2-meter long annulated sea snake possessing seven times the killing power of a rattlesnake is not a creature you would want to meet in a hurry.

He’s looking for his next meal. Not many people have seen or heard of this venomous creature. That’s because the exotic marine life that dwells under the east and west coasts of Saudi Arabia have remained largely hidden from prying eyes for years.

For centuries, only a select few have had the opportunity to observe the subsurface existence that flourishes under the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf — but not anymore.

Saudi Aramco’s Media Productions Division (MPD) has opened up this previously little-known world by teaming up with award winning British documentary makers Icon Films to produce Desert Seas. Millions of viewers around the globe are able, for the first time, to see up close one of the richest and most enchanting marine environments anywhere on the planet.

This treasure of a production is wooing audiences worldwide. Currently being aired on the renowned National Geographic Channel, it has been a ratings hit.

To date, Desert Seas has been transmitted to 96 countries and into more than 100 million homes. Its viewing figures have delighted the National Geographic. The Kingdom’s rich marine life is getting the global audience it deserves.

“This is great news for the Kingdom,” said Osama Al-Kadi, director of MPD at Saudi Aramco.

“It is the first time that a film crew has been given such access to the Kingdom’s marine life. It’s an unprecedented production of high quality; this is reflected in its impressive viewing figures.”

In many ways Al-Kadi’s words are an understatement. “High quality” doesn’t quite hit the mark — jaw dropping would be more accurate.

Icon Films crews were given unrestricted access to the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea thanks to Saudi Aramco. By working in close coordination with the relevant government authorities, Saudi Aramco was able to secure filming access for Icon and its expert camera team.

“Everyone knows the National Geographic Channel; it’s a global brand,” said Al-Kadi. “It’s a reflection of the quality of the production that the National Geographic has aired, and continues to air, Desert Seas.”

The film has been so successful that it has been sold to a further 14 channels and networks. Once Saudi Aramco decided to pursue a film showcasing the Kingdom’s marine life, the next move was to find a film production company that had the credentials to produce the world-class production that would be required. And for Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD), it was an opportunity to show the world a hidden side to Saudi Arabia.

“We saw this as a chance to provide the world with a glimpse into the rich marine ecology in the Kingdom,” said Dr. Osama Fageeha, general supervisor for Environmental Engineering at Saudi Aramco.

Thus began the search for a film company with the expertise and know how to pull off such a production. After much searching, it was clear that the U.K.-based Icon Films was at the top of a list of only a handful of companies that could produce such an ambitious film.

“MPD met with Icon, and we knew they were the company to do this,” said Al-Kadi. “But equally, they jumped at the chance to be involved. They also knew that the film idea had great potential.”

Desert Seas is a 60 minute production narrated by Sir David Attenborough that has captivated viewers as it reveals a hidden side to the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s unique marine environment is getting the global audience it deserves.

To watch Desert Seas, visit

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