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Category Archive: Saudi Aramco News

WEF Davos 2015: Saudi Aramco Committed to its Long-Term Strategy, Says Al-Falih

23 January 2015 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Khalid A. Al Falih, Saudi Aramco President and CEO, participated on January 21 in a panel discussion entitled The Geo-Economics of Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In his comments Mr. Al-Falih outlined key factors behind current market conditions and emphasized that, despite market volatility, Saudi Aramco is resilient and committed to its long-term strategy.

The panel session, included Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency (IEA), Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer, Eni, Italy, Abdalla Salem El Badri, Secretary-General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and Daniel Yergin, Vice-Chairman, IHS, and panel moderator.

To view a recording of the panel discussion please visit:

Sadara, SATORP Tops in Hydrocarbon Processing Poll

21 January 2015 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Two Saudi Aramco projects were recently selected as among the top hydrocarbon processing projects worldwide in 2014 in a poll conducted by Hydrocarbon Processing (HP) magazine.

Sadara and SATORP were selected in the Petrochemical and Refining categories, respectively. Sadara, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Co., is building in Jubail the largest chemicals facility built at one time. SATORP, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and TOTAL in Jubail, completed its first operational year in 2014, reaching its full design capacity.

Hydrocarbon Processing editors used a Construction Boxscore Database to select several projects in a variety of categories to determine projects eligible to win one of its awards. According to the database, more than $1.143 trillion in announced global projects are currently at various stages of development and face a variety of demands and challenges.

The projects can be long-term commitments that can take several years from announcement until mechanical completion and startup. Likewise, the capital cost for construction projects is steadily rising, as limited resources are well below the demand. The projects are multibillion-dollar investments with considerable risk.

Using the Construction Boxscore Database, editors identified 12 projects that will have the highest impact to the global or regional downstream industry. They represent important developments for the LNG/gas processing, petrochemical and refining industries. HP readers voted online to select the top project in each category.

The other award winner was Sasol’s Lake Charles GTL project in Louisiana, U.S., in the LNG/Gas Processing category.

Aramco World: Excellence Recognized

21 January 2015 | comments (1) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Aramco Service Company’s (ASC) flagship publication, AramcoWorld recently received nine awards in an international magazine competition sponsored by FOLIO Magazine.

This was a record number of awards received in a single contest. In 2013, the magazine received four FOLIO Magazine awards, the same number it received in the 2011 contest.

U.S.-based subsidiary ASC Public Affairs produces the magazine, which seeks to broaden knowledge of the culture, history and geography of the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The annual magazine contest recognizes excellence in both editorial content and graphic design.

The 2014 contest featured about 50 categories. More than 2,000 entries were received from the U.S. and internationally.

AramcoWorld received two first-place wins, for illustration and typography. Both were awarded to “The Immigrant’s Progress,” by writer and artist Norman MacDonald, which appeared in the March/April 2014 issue.

Richard Doughty, the magazine’s editor, said the dual award is “especially exciting” because the article is both hand-drawn and hand-written. “It felt like an affirmation of hand-crafted art,” he added, “even during a time when there is a push to go more digital.”

He said that MacDonald has written and illustrated more than 50 articles for the magazine since the 1970s, making him “one of our most prolific and valued contributors.”

“The Immigrant’s Progress” features immigrants in Amsterdam — all of whom lived within easy bicycling distance of MacDonald’s home — who tell their personal stories. MacDonald’s hand-penciled text almost looks like a personal postcard. His colorful hand-drawn illustrations bring the subjects to life.

This article was the third in a series of places and their people by MacDonald that began in the late 2000s when MacDonald sent Doughty sketches and interviews of people he met in pubs.

Other articles were set in Cape Town — a FOLIO design award winner in 2011 — and Hong Kong.

Notable achievements

The magazine received seven honorable mentions, with one in the video category for “Between Salt and Sea.” Video production was a collaborative effort between photographer David Wells, Doughty and Houston-based Web designer eSiteful.

“David produced more than a dozen short videos for this story about Kutch, which is in northwest India near the Pakistan border,” Doughty said. “We pinned each video to its location on Google Maps, which gives readers a kind of virtual tour of Kutch.

Three of the seven honorable mention awards went to the magazine’s website, while another three were awarded in the categories of best article series, for “Interpreter of Treasures” by Tim Mackintosh-Smith; best single article, for “Rock and Roll Ambassador” by Gerald Zarr (November/December 2013), and best table of contents, in the May/June 2014 edition.

Visit the magazine’s website at

IPTC: Highlighting Big Impact Technologies and Breakthrough Projects

14 January 2015 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

International Petroleum Technology Conference

The IPTC is an annual event rotating between Asia Pacific and the Middle East, organised to further the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge related to the exploration, development, production, transportation and processing of oil and natural gas.

With more than 10 technical papers presented spanning a wide range of topics in petroleum engineering and geosciences, Saudi Aramco had a strong presence at the recent International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The yearly event was held under the theme of “Innovation and Collaboration: Key to Affordable Energy.” Saudi Aramco’s participation was led by Khaled A. Al Buraik, vice president of Petroleum Engineering and Development, who is also the director at large for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

“It is great to see Saudi Aramco participating in this major event where it gives opportunity for others to learn more about the company’s future plans as a leader in upstream,” said Al Buraik.

The Karan mega-project, Saudi Aramco’s first offshore nonassociated gas development project intended for domestic energy supply, was a finalist for the IPTC “Excellence in Project Integration Award.”

Consisting of a 67-session technical program, four panel sessions, three plenary sessions and an exhibition, the IPTC provided the perfect setting for companies and organizations to showcase their technologies and achievements in the oil and gas industry. The event attracted more than 9,000 attendees from leading professional societies in the petroleum industry.

Aramco Entrepreneurship and GE Announce Winners of Global Innovation Challenge

13 January 2015 | comments (0) | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco News

Aramco Entrepreneurship and GE announce winners of ‘Global Innovation Challenge’ to identify cutting edge desalination solutions using renewable energy for regional deployment and development.

Four winners representing five countries: Italy, Singapore/Saudi Arabia, Netherlands and the USA to be honored at the opening ceremony of Saudi Water & Power Forum 2015.

Winners receive cash prizes, and the opportunity to collaborate with GE, Aramco Entrepreneurship and others to develop and deploy the proposed solutions.

The competition attracted 108 innovative solutions from 32 countries; Saudi Arabia represents the second largest participant.

Many of the 108 submissions received were of high quality and deserve recognition.

To promote a culture of technology-based entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco.

Entrepreneurship launched a global competition in the area of Sea Water Desalination using renewable energy in partnership with GE.

Current desalination processes are highly fossil fuel intensive, while Saudi Arabia is the world leader in desalination.

The initiative aimed to solicit innovative solutions for improving desalination efficiency and to avail of these solutions for the benefit of the community by connecting local businesses with global innovators to incubate the solutions regionally in this critical domain.

The winners of the global technology challenge — launched by the Aramco Entrepreneurship and GE ecomagination (NYSE: GE) — were announced today at the opening of the Saudi Water & Power Forum. To promote a culture of technology-based entrepreneurship and venturing in the Kingdom, Aramco Entrepreneurship launched a global competition in the area of Sea Water Desalination using renewable energy in partnership with GE in April 2014.

The objective of the initiative was not only to solicit innovative solutions for improving desalination efficiency but also to avail of these solutions for the community by connecting the local business community with global innovators, to incubate them regionally and create technology-based ventures. This initiative received support from the Governor of Saudi Arabian Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC). SWCC owns and operates around 25 percent of the entire world’s desalination capacity. As the largest user of desalination processes and technology, Saudi Arabia is expected to invest heavily in seawater desalination technologies and solar energy in the coming decades.

H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Hussein, Saudi Minister of Water & Electricity, announced the winners, who will receive cash prizes, and further possible support toward development and deployment of the innovative solutions. This competition received 108 submissions representing 32 countries. The largest number of country-based submissions came from the USA, followed by Saudi Arabia.

HE Al Hussein said: “The commendable undertaking by the Aramco Entrepreneurship and GE that promotes innovation in desalination using renewable energy is of strategic importance in addressing regional and global water scarcity. With energy accounting for nearly 70 percent of the desalination cost, identifying efficient, renewable energy solutions will have a long-term impact on the water sector, particularly in the GCC region. To announce the global winners here, through a Saudi-led initiative, demonstrates the leadership of the Kingdom in identifying and promoting energy-efficient solutions that will benefit the water and energy industry globally. The competition also highlights that Saudi Arabia is not only a consumer of technology but also a developer of innovative solutions by partnership with others.”

While only four prizes were awarded, a large number of high quality submissions were received, and many of these address other critical needs of the Kingdom, such as food security.

The winners of the global technology innovation challenge are Jaime Mateus – Anfiro (USA) for his team’s project on “Ultra-high permeability RO membranes for desalination,” Marco Rosa-Clot, Antonio Naviglio and Gianfranco Caruso of Florence University (Italy) for their project on “SHAMS-Titanium MED desalination project,” Kim Choon Ng of National University of Singapore with the researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) for the project on “Hybrid Multi-Effect Adsorption Desalination: An Emerging High Efficiency and Low Cost Desalination,” and Norbert Kuipers and his team – TNO (The Netherlands) for the project on “Simultaneous Production of Potable Water and Power from High Pressure Membrane Distillation driven by Solar Heat (CSP).”

In addition to the winners, several organizations received special citation for their proposals including: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and MIT; Hi-Z Technology Inc.; Novatec Solar GmbH; AIL Research; AQUA.abib water solutions S.L.; Arabian Consulting Engineering Centre Co.; Energy Concepts Co. LLC; F Cubed Solar Water Processors Pty Ltd; German Jordanian University; Glacier Tec. Inc.; ITM-CNR; Okeanos Technologies; Millennium Energy Industries; Tafila Technical University; Texas A&M University; Total Water Solutions LLC; TransGlobal H20; University of Maine; University of Notre Dame; University of Valladolid; University West of Scotland, and others.

Mr. Nabil Al-Khowaiter, Managing Director of Aramco Energy Venture stated: “Innovators from around the world responded to the challenge presenting several ground-breaking ideas. These innovative solutions demonstrate the potential to address one of the greatest concerns for humanity, assuring a reliable supply of water through desalination, using energy-efficient renewable technologies. The four winning technologies from five countries are examples of a host of innovative solutions being developed to address the critical needs of the industry, many of which can be deployed in Saudi Arabia by venturing and joint development. The innovative solutions submitted, whether winners or not, will be considered for possible incubation in Saudi organizations, and by local entrepreneurs, such as independent power and water producers, as well as by GE for potential regional application.”

Mr. Sami Khursani, the Managing Director of Aramco Entrepreneurship, added: “To further promote joint development, the global competition and the subsequent events connect global innovators with local entrepreneurs, so that these solutions can be developed and deployed to create new industries and manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia, ultimately creating high-value jobs. The Challenge highlights our focus on promoting innovation to encourage technology-based entrepreneurship to address the critical needs of the Kingdom by partnering with the global community rather than in isolation. The broad goal of the competition was to accelerate the development of innovative solutions focused on improving the energy efficiency of seawater desalination. ”

Hisham Al Bahkali, President & CEO, GE Saudi Arabia, explained: “Assuring reliable supplies of energy and water for people are two goals that are central to policy makers anywhere in the world. By focusing on renewable energy technological innovations for the desalination process, the challenge opened up a worldwide opportunity to find innovative, impactful, feasible and scalable projects. The initiative highlights our focus on promoting innovation that can have a transformational impact on humanity by fostering strong linkages between the industry and the research community for the common good. The potential application of the winning technologies will be a game changer for Saudi’s water sector.”

This is the first global innovation event for Saudi Aramco that addresses a specific technical challenge facing the Kingdom, conducted with GE as a partner. Since its inception in 2005, GE ecomagination has launched five challenges – ideas for creating and encouraging adoption of smart grid technology, an advanced manufacturing challenge to use 3D printing to improve the production of a GE aircraft engine bracket, two on healthcare to advance work in breast cancer and traumatic brain injury diagnosis, and desalination through renewable energy. This latest challenge is also the first global competition where GE has partnered with another major company, Saudi Aramco, to address a global theme.

The extensive proposals received were reviewed by large multidisciplinary teams from Saudi Aramco, GE and SWCC.

The global technology innovation challenge on desalination through renewable energy was created to address the issue of global freshwater and groundwater resources being depleted at an alarming rate. This places greater emphasis on resorting to desalination to meet water needs. Desalination is also an energy-intensive water treatment technology; the cost of treating low salinity seawater is about ten times greater than a typical freshwater source and nearly double the energy cost of treating wastewater for reuse.*

Moving forward, there are several events planned to further deployment of these innovative technologies. A forum entitled “Desalination Using Renewable Energy: Connecting Global Innovators with Local Entrepreneurs” will include selected global innovators who participated in the competition. Networking events such as Future Global Energy Forum, 2015 will engage a larger number of global innovators with local entrepreneurs/VCs. A compilation of key technologies will be included in a booklet and/or in a website, available upon request from AEC.

The global community, such as the International Desalination Association, is seeking ways to achieve at least a 20 percent energy reduction in desalination in 2015. New technologies that use renewable energy for desalination will be urgently needed to address this gap.

The Saudi Water & Power Forum 2015 is an annual forum and exhibition for the water and power stakeholders, held under the patronage of the Ministry of Water & Power. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event, which focuses on achievements attained in the past decade for both the water and power sectors.

For further information regarding the proposals and the competition, please contact: of the Aramco Entrepreneurship Center.

*Source: UN World Water Development Report 2014

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