Saudi Arabia Advances in Little League World Series

22 August 2011 | 1 comment | Brats | by

Arabian American Little League Arabian American Little League
Photo by Saudi Aramco

After a 4-2 win over the Netherlands on Saturday, August 20, 2011, Saudi Arabia will take on last year’s winning team Japan in the Little League World Series!

The game against Japan will be broadcast on Monday, August 22, 2011 on ESPN 2 and at 6 PM (EST).

Watch video of their recent win!

Visit Little League World Series for more updates and information.

R&DC Forum Focuses on Innovation, New Ideas

19 August 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, August 16, 2011 — More than 200 members of the Saudi Aramco technical and scientific community recently gathered for the second annual Research and Development Center (R&DC) Technical Exchange Forum under the theme “Transforming R&DC Intellectual Capital into Added Value.”

Saudi Aramco NewsSaudi Aramco Research and Development Center
Photo by Saudi Aramco

Throughout the two-day event, participants shared new ideas, innovations and advancements, in seven core areas including: Future Hydrocarbon Based Fuels; Catalysis and Process Development; Biotechnology in the Oil Industry; Carbon-dioxide Capture, Utilization and Conversion; Advances in Hydrocarbons and Materials Characterization; Advances in Chemicals and Petrochemicals; and Scale and Corrosion Mitigation.

R&DC manager Omar Abdul-Hamid said, “As a research and development organization, such gatherings are undoubtedly vital to our progression and success as they provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and learning from each other’s experiences.”

Abdul-Hamid highlighted three major and recent accomplishments:

  • Laser Oil Fingerprinting (or DesertRay Technology). DesertRay was developed in-house as a multipurpose laser instrument that helps identify the ingredients of blended crude oils as well as blended refined products.
  • Online Salt in Crude Analyzer for Gas-Oil Separation Plants (GOSP). The analyzer can perform salt-content measurement automatically in harsh operating conditions. The prototype analyzer was tested in Ain Dar GOSP-2.
  • Gas Treating Membrane Technology for Natural Gas Upgrading. This economical technology unlocks the Kingdom’s huge reserves of sub-quality natural gas by removing large quantities of impurities such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The pilot plant was commissioned and tested at Shedgum Gas Plant.

Science Specialist and forum chairman Tony Rizk said, “One goal of the forum was to provide important R&D opportunities to share what’s new, exciting and cutting edge.”

“For younger researchers, it’s learning more about areas that might interest them in terms of future study for advanced degrees,” he said. “For others, it’s sharing what we are doing and learning from our colleagues. And for those outside R&DC, it’s a chance to see how we are taming technology for their specific applications.”

Atef Al-Zahrani, a Professional Development Program (PDP) engineer, found the event remarkable. “It offers me the opportunity to practice and share the knowledge we have as a team and get feedback and suggestions from attendees,” he said.

First-year R&DC scientists Hassan Al-Jama and Mohammed Al-Abuallirat agreed.

“Even though I work here, I can’t be aware of everything that’s going on at R&D,” Al-Jama said. “This event let me learn about projects and products R&DC is involved in and how they’re making contributions to the company.”

Al-Abuallirat liked the exposure to new ideas and activities – something he hoped would spark his interest and lead to further exploration and an advanced degree.

Keynote speakers included Ingo Pinnau of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Gautam Kalghatgi of Saudi Aramco R&DC, and Zain Yamani of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Journey to the Land of the Thunder Dragon

19 August 2011 | 0 comments | Travel & Leisure | by

In November, the Dhahran Outing Group will journey to the Land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan. A landlocked country in south Asia, nestled between India and China and on eastern end of the Himalayas, Bhutan has been isolated from the Western world for many centuries. The preservation of culture and nature make it a popular tourist destination in the 21st century.

Painting of Ngawang NamgyalPainting of Ngawang Namgyal

Bhutan was first unified as a nation in the early 17th century under Tibetan lama and military leader Ngawang Namgyal, but disputes with neighbors in Tibet and British India, as well as civil conflicts within the country, would plague Bhutan for 200 years.

In 1885, Ugyen Wangchuck consolidated power and, when an absolute monarchy was established by a congress of Buddhist monks, government officials, and important families in 1907, he was selected as king. In 1910, Bhutan and the British signed the Treaty of Punakha, establishing amiable relations with Britain and later the independent India. In 2007, a new government establishing a constitutional monarchy was accepted, with parliamentary elections and involuntary abdication proceedings.

One of the most notable characteristics of Bhutan is its high percentage of practicing Buddhists. As many as ¾ of the 691,141 population are Bhuddist, with 23% of Bhutanese are followers of Hinduism. Although Buddhism is the state religion, freedom of religion is guaranteed and proselytism is forbidden.

Kurjey MonasteryKurjey Lhakhang Monastery
Photo by Vladimir Sazonov

The influence of Buddhism is visible in many aspects of Bhutanese life, from red-robed lamas to the exquisite monasteries that speckle the countryside. During their visit, DOGs will visit several of these landmarks, including the Taksang Monastery (also known as The Tiger’s Nest) which is located on a 1,200 meter cliff. Another monastery on the visit is Kurjey Monastery, the final resting place of the first three kings of Bhutan.

Along with its storied history and culture, Bhutan is known for its breathtaking landscapes of mountains, rivers, and glacial lakes. While visiting the Bumthang District, DOGs will see Mebartsho, which means “burning lake,” although it is actually a gorge where the Tang Chuu tributary of the Mo Chhu River runs.

Bhutan TakinBhutan Takin
Photo by Stephen Shephard

While enjoying the natural beauty of Bhutan in Motithang Park above Thimpu, the group will catch a glimpse of the rare Takin, a goat-antelope that is the national animal of Bhutan. Covered in a thick, golden wool that turns black on the under-belly and with small horns on both males and females, research shows that takin are related to sheep. Other native animals include the Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, and sloth bear.

For full trip details, download the Tranquilating Bhutan Brochure.

Contact trip leader Sangeeta Kothare at for full registration and payment information.

Ramadan Mubarak!

16 August 2011 | 1 comment | Other Aramco Magazines | by Khalid A. Al-Falih

Message from Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco President and CEO, published in The Arabian Sun, Vol. LXVI, No. 31, August 3, 2011.

President and CEO Khalid A. Al-FalihPresident and CEO
Khalid A. Al-Falih

As we enter the sacred month of Ramadan, let us take this opportunity to remember the God-given blessings each of us has received, and to consider the lessons and achievements we have acquired over the course of the previous year. It is also a moment to reflect on the timeless values that have won Saudi Aramco the respect of our industry, our society and our nation — values that each of us must embody every day.

I hope this month also allows each of us to strengthen our ties with family, friends and colleagues, and to both experience and exemplify the tolerance, perseverance, humility, compassion and peace of mind that represent the true spirit of Ramadan.

At the same time, I want to encourage you and your loved ones to take extra precautions in the area of safety, whether at home, at work or on the road. In addition to safeguarding your own health and well-being, you can also serve as a positive example for others in our communities, and help to ensure that this month of goodness does not become a month of tragedy for any family.

I wish each and every one of you a blessed Ramadan, as well as continued fine health and happiness.

AOC Sponsors Universities Meeting

16 August 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Chili Li (Saudi Aramco News)

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, August 10, 2011 — Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC) sponsored the Arab European Universities Association (AEUA) presidents meeting recently, hosted by Groningen University.

AOC Sponsors Universities MeetingAOC Sponsors Universities Meeting
Photo by Saudi Aramco

H.E. Dr. Khalid ibn Mohammed Al-Angari, minister of Higher Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Dr. Sibrandes Poppema, president of Groningen University; Dr. Max Van den Berg, Queen’s commissioner in Groningen; Dr. Sultan Abu Orabi, president of AEUA and several distinguished guests from various Arab and European countries attended the meeting. Nabil K. Al-Dabal, managing director of AOC, together with an AOC delegation, also attended.

After Poppema introduced Groningen city and the university, Al-Angari gave a presentation on education development, focusing on the Kingdom.

In Al-Dabal’s presentation on “Saudi Aramco’s 3T strategy —Talent, Technology and Teamwork,” he emphasized the importance of a talented work force for the future of Saudi Aramco. “A highly skilled and motivated work force enables us to make the most of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s oil, gas and petrochemical endowment,” he began, before elaborating on Saudi Aramco’s engagement in the development of the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology and affiliations with top universities in Europe, North America and the Far East.

“Partnerships with other leading universities and research institutions are also an integral part of Aramco’s vision,” he said, “which is driven by our desire to expand the domestic university knowledge pool in support of our research and development center, which has expanded to Europe, North America and the Far East.”

Al-Dabal briefly mentioned the Saudi Aramco-sponsored students in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe and the academic visits organized by AOC last year.

He concluded with an explanation of the educational program for continuing development of employees. “Much has changed in the world of petroleum,” he said, “but for all the new technology and more sophisticated infrastructure and operations, one thing that remains the same is the critical nature of the professionals who work in this industry, who still represent the most significant differentiating factor among energy companies.”

AEUA was founded in 1998 and has as its primary objective to facilitate and stimulate collaboration among universities in European and Arab countries at an institutional, departmental and faculty level.

(Article by Chili Li)