Category Archive: Saudi Aramco News
Saudi Aramco acting president and CEO Amin H. Nasser visited joint ventures Sadara (Sadara Chemical Company) and SATORP (Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemicals Company) at Jubail Industrial City to check on their progress of the downstream projects.
The two site visits reinforced the company’s partnerships with The Dow Chemical Company, Saudi Aramco’s partner in Sadara; and with France’s Total SA, Saudi Aramco’s partner in SATORP.
Sadara, Saudi Aramco’s joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company, is on track to begin operations in the second half of 2015.
Construction of the multi-billion dollar project — the world’s largest chemical complex built in a single phase — is more than 94% complete as of May 2015, with teams to ensure that all timelines are achieved, including that for “first products.”
The megaproject has 26 world-scale manufacturing plants and will introduce 14 new technologies to Saudi Arabia and the first naphtha cracker in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Sadara’s safety record during planning and construction is impressive with nearly 1 million man-hours of planning, 9 million man-hours of engineering and 370 million man-hours of construction completed while maintaining a total recordable incident rate safety record of 0.036.
Sadara is set to create thousands of direct jobs at the complex and the adjacent PlasChem Park, advanced products for consumers in emerging markets, new value chains taking the Kingdom’s chemicals industry beyond commodities and new specialty chemical plants and downstream businesses that result in thousands of indirect job opportunities.
“Sadara won’t just grow manufacturing — it will grow technology,” said Nasser. “The multiplier effect will be nothing short of transformational.”
SATORP, the Saudi Aramco joint venture with France’s Total SA, is a world-class complex refinery.
As the seventh most complex refinery in the world, SATORP is capable of converting 400,000 bpd of Arabian Heavy crude oil into low-sulfur gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. In addition to naphtha and clean gasoline, SATORP also produces more than 1 million tons per year of paraxylene, benzene and propylene, as well as petroleum coke.
With 80% of project construction executed by Saudi subcontractors from various disciplines, and an overall Saudization rate of 64.4%, SATORP “is a pacesetter for Saudi participation,” Nasser said.
SATORP has also reached a milestone of one full year of operations with no lost time injuries.
“With more than 5 million safe man-hours and best-in-class recordables, SATORP has demonstrated that safety is ingrained in the culture here,” said Nasser.
Nasser was accompanied on the visit by Abdulrahman F. Al Wuhaib, senior vice president of Downstream, Warren W. Wilder, vice president of Chemicals, and Ahmed A. Al Subaey, executive director of Marketing Supply and Joint Venture Coordination.
Saudi Aramco’s Khurais Producing Department (KhPD) and Abqaiq Plants Operation Department (APOD) awarded for excellence by the Frost and Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council.
This years’ event was held in Carlsbad, California, and saw KhPD receive two awards under the category of Sustainable Leadership and Engineering, and Production Technology Leadership, while APOD earned its award under the newly-introduced category of the Big Data and Advanced Analytics Leadership.
KhPD’s Sustainabilty Leadership Achievements
KhPD’s award for Sustainability Leadership recognized Khurais’ resource and energy optimization efforts over the last three years. In this time, KhPD improved its energy intensity performance, groundwater conservation efforts, environmental compliance and flare minimization efforts.
In recent years, KhPD has proactively handled sustainability challenges. It has instituted a culture of effective performance monitoring, adapted to and adopted industrially-accepted best practices, established KPIs to measure sustainability performance, and assessed fit-for-purpose technology for possible deployment. And the results speak for themselves.
The KhPD 2014 energy intensity index has dropped significantly by beating annual corporate targets for four years in a row.
KhPD also maintained good levels of fugitive emissions such as SOx, NOx and H2S in 2014. Wash water consumption index and flare minimization targets also favorably exceeded the corporate-mandated levels.
Engineering and Production Technology Leadership Achievements
KhPD’s second award under Engineering and Production Technology Leadership recognized Khurais’ development and deployment of its innovative integrated analytical engineering performance monitoring tool.
The tool, which recently earned a U.S. patent, goes beyond typical monitoring systems and has become key for the ongoing operational excellence efforts at KhPD; such as energy conservation, crude yield enhancement, resource optimization and equipment efficiency.
It performs incentive evaluation or lost opportunity assessment (by measuring additional revenue, energy savings, and resource conservation); provides diagnostic and advisory capabilities that help engineers and operators make the right decisions to close performance gaps; and prioritizing which initiatives to implement.
APOD’s Big Data and Advanced Analytics Achievements
APOD’s winning project was the implementation of an innovative, first-of-its-kind energy KPI system at Abqaiq Plants that was developed in-house and has been filed as a patent.
The system transforms huge amounts of operational data into predictive and actionable insights for the operation team. The system is used as an operational and engineering tool to supervise and improve energy performance. The system explores energy consumption at the equipment level and provides advisory intelligence to the operators for further adjustment.
When detecting an energy KPI anomaly, the system automatically point outs which process/equipment caused the anomaly, the root cause and corrective actions, and the operating unit responsible for the corrective actions.
The new system embeds engineers’ process knowledge, operation experience, KPI familiarity, and analytical skills to identify the causes of energy deficiency and what actions are required to remedy the deficiency. This approach reflects realistic production scenarios and saves time when troubleshooting KPI deviation issues. The system performs gap and root cause analysis by analyzing historical and real-time plant data and events.
Saudi Aramco has achieved a landmark by energizing its largest Tie-in Platform (TP-20) with a 230 kV submarine composite cable.
TP-20 lies in the world’s largest offshore field, Safaniya, and the energizing was the first in a phase of long-term plans to upgrade the Safaniya offshore field, referred to as the Safaniya Master Plan.
TP-20 will be the main crude oil gathering and power supply hub for North Safaniya offshore field. It is designed to provide 152 MW of electric power via a 46 km, 3-core 230 kV submarine composite cable (power and fiber) from a Saudi Electricity Company, newly-built 380/230 kV onshore substation.
This 46 km, 3-core 230 kV submarine composite cable is the longest of its kind in the world and was installed as a single piece without a field splice. Considering the value of equipment at stake, the laying of the submarine cable was an extremely critical and complex operation.
The entire length of the submarine cable was transported from the manufacturer on a single vessel, known as a deep water cable laying vessel. Then with the help of a shallow water cable laying barge, the cable was installed from onshore to offshore TP-20.
With the complete 230 kV electrical substation, the weight of TP-20 exceeds 6,000 metric tons. This staggering load cannot be handled by an industry standard marine crane. Therefore, the installation of TP-20 was performed using a unique float-over method. Careful measures and plans were developed to ensure successful construction and installation of the platform. Several construction workshops, design analyses and model reviews were conducted to review all aspects of the design and to ensure its safe installation.
Subsequent to the energization of TP-20, TP-18 and the nine wellhead platforms in central Safaniya field were also successfully energized under the same project. TP-18 is designed to provide 62 MW of electric power being fed via a 44 km, 3-core 115 kV submarine composite cable from a newly-built 230/115 kV onshore substation.
A complete electrical power system is delivering power to Safaniya’s remote offshore loads and has increased crude oil production more than 70 MBOD from the central Safaniya field – all this after a complex and challenging commissioning operation.
Saudi Aramco’s partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) grew stronger as the two parties signed on the Live Saudi Arabia program recently.
The ceremony was attended by HRH Prince Sultan ibn Salman ibn Abdulaziz, president of the SCTA, HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Health and Saudi Aramco’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, who signed on behalf of the company, and acting Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H. Nasser.
Part of the agreement was that Saudi Aramco will arrange for more than 5,000 students from across the Kingdom to visit the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture after its opening next year.
At the signing ceremony, Prince Sultan said the agreement was within the framework of cooperation and partnership between the SCTA and Saudi Aramco in the areas of tourism, antiquities and national heritage.
The framework has already resulted in: cooperation in archaeological excavation in the Eastern Province; the signing of a cooperation agreement concerning the preservation of antiquities; exchange of expertise in research, field studies, administrative development and tourism investment; and the signing of a cooperation agreement for the recovery of national monuments that were illegally smuggled out of the Kingdom.
Saudi Aramco has also sponsored the “Saudi Archaeological Masterpieces through the Ages” exhibition which was hosted by five museums in the U.S. Prince Sultan announced that the exhibition will be first hosted in the Kingdom by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture following its opening.
Prince Sultan also announced that this year’s SCTA President’s Award went to Saudi Aramco for its support of a number of tourism and heritage-related initiatives and events. ‘Live Saudi Arabia’ is an important national program that takes our young generation on a tour of the Kingdom’s regions in order to acquaint them with their country’s heritage and its historical, cultural and tourist landmarks,” Prince Sultan said. “This will allow our youth to experience and interact with these places rather than just live in them.”
About ‘Live Saudi Arabia’
‘Live Saudi Arabia’ aims to enhance citizenship and strengthen the ties of citizens with their homeland by introducing them to different cultures within the Kingdom, building personal and cognitive abilities, promoting positive values among young people and raising their awareness of their role in promoting their country abroad. It also aims to introduce young people to their country’s cultural heritage through thousands of historical, archaeological and cultural sites; the social life and diverse cultures that characterize each of the Kingdom’s provinces.
‘Live Saudi Arabia’ will allow participating male and female students to visit the events organized by Saudi Aramco, including the iThra Knowledge events. Students will also be able to visit Saudi Aramco’s facilities to learn about the business and meet employees.
The National Industrial Training Institute (NITI) was recently inaugurated in al-Hasa, where Saudi youths will be trained to help fill the more than 1 million jobs needed in the Kingdom’s energy sector.
The inauguration was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Saud Bin Nayif Bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, who was joined by HH Prince Badr Bin Muhammad, Governor of al-Hasa; HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, the Minister of Health and Chairman of Saudi Aramco’s Board of Directors; HE Ali N. Al-Ghufais, Governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC); HE Abdulrahman M. Al-Ibrahim, Governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC); and Amin H. Nasser, acting president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.
Nasser said a three-element formula is required to address the challenge of providing thousands of job opportunities in the Kingdom. They are:
- Providing training and qualification based on market needs
- Reasonable and competitive wages to allow young Saudi employees to support and start a family
- An appropriate work environment and job security.
NITI began last year with the enrollment of 655 young Saudis under “train-to-hire” contracts with Saudi Aramco and its joint ventures.
“The main challenge facing many national and international companies wishing to invest in the Kingdom and meet the Saudization percentage is finding qualified national employees,” Nasser said. “By doubling the number of trained Saudis in technical and professional jobs for the Saudi energy sector — which requires about 1 million jobs — these training centers and institutes will have come a long way in meeting those needs.
“Successful Saudization will give us local strategic power as the basis for international competitiveness,” he said. “We need to increase local content in the energy sector, including support services and industries, and Saudize the workforce in all companies forming a direct or indirect component of this sector’s supply chain.”
Energy Sector Training Board
Prince Saud also sponsored the signing ceremony of a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing the Energy Sector Training Board, which came to fruition thanks to the efforts and cooperation of Saudi Aramco, TVTC, and six major Saudi energy companies.
The MOU was signed by representatives from TVTC, Saudi Aramco, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, SWCC, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the Saudi Electricity Company, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), and the Council of Chambers of Commerce.
NITI in Figures
- NITI can enroll 2,500 trainees from several private sector companies
- The institute includes 191 classrooms and laboratories, as well as 59 training workshops
- NITI provides 12 different specializations based on the requirements of sponsoring companies. These specializations are oil and gas operator, chemicals operator, instrumentation technician, communications technician, electrical maintenance technician, electrical systems operator, machinery maintenance technician, winch operator, AC technician, welding technician, pipe fitter, and chemical laboratory technician.
- NITI has housing facilities to accommodate 1,000 trainees, a mosque for 1,000 people, and a 14-bed clinic