Modeling Tool Helps Master Gas System

15 December 2010 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

DHAHRAN, December 15, 2010 – The Master Gas System recently gained a tool, with Saudi Aramco help, that helps ensure its reliable delivery.

STAT. OSPAS planner Ibrahim H. Aseeri operates a console using the Online Master Gas System Analysis Tool in the OSPAS Control Room. The software enables planners to optimize performance of the Master Gas System. (Photos: Stephen L. Brundage)

That tool is the online modeling technology known as the Online Master Gas System-Survival Time Analysis Tool (MGS-STAT). It captures real-time data from the MGS and provides accurate and fast prediction of its condition and status.
The state-of-the-art addition was designed and implemented by the Process and Control Systems Department (P&CSD) in collaboration with the Oil Supply Planning and Scheduling Department (OSPAS) and many other organizations.

MGS-STAT helps OSPAS enhance the intraday, daily and long-term management of the highly dynamic MGS, which connects Saudi Aramco gas plants to gas consumers scattered across the Kingdom through a large network of sales-gas pipelines.

P&CSD manager Saleh Al-Zaid said the technology helps OSPAS planners, engineers and management make more informed decisions and optimize MGS operation and performance.

MGS reliability is usually measured by a parameter called Survival Time, a representation of the excess and pressurized gas inventory inside the system that maintained as a buffer against unplanned events.

Maintaining the excess comes at a high cost, and that’s where MGS-STAT will play a critical role. The MGS-STAT accurately calculates Survival Time, giving OSPAS, the company hydrocarbon network operator, information to adjust MGS parameters and maintain Survival Time at its desired value. That will reduce the cost of power and ensure optimum operation.

STAT1. Ibrahim H. Aseeri, foreground, uses the Online Master Gas System Analysis Tool as, background from left, operator Jamal S. Qahtani, engineer Nasser A. Humaid and general supervisor Yahya S. Bokhedaim look on in the OSPAS Control Room.

The system also gives engineers and planners a convenient tool to run “what-if” analysis and generate scenarios that will help better manage the system. OSPAS can then coordinate MGS activities that respond to the impacts of the scenarios. P&CSD conducted several training sessions with the help of Liwacom, the provider of the model engine.

The system was put into action by a team of experts from P&CSD, OSPAS, Information Technology, Pipelines and Gas Operations. It was connected to other systems, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, which transmits field data from the pipelines to OSPAS.

Numerous databases were built to store data and feed it to the MGS-STAT engine. In addition, the physical layout of the huge MGS pipelines network had to be mapped and reflected in the model engine.

OSPAS manager Mohammed Al-Shammari said that with the new system, planners and engineers now can see the system in real time and see the predicted performance of the system that would result from their actions.

Yahya Bokhedaim, general supervisor of OSPAS Gas and NGL Division, the team that’s responsible for operating the MGS, praised the team effort in designing and implementing the application.

John and Martha Kratz Enjoy RVing in Retirement

14 December 2010 | 0 comments | Annuitants | by

Name? John Kratz

Job Title and Department? Maintenance Engineer

Compound Residence? Abqaiq

Spouse’s name? Martha

Children’s names? Sandra, Peter, and Richard

Grandchildren’s names and ages? Sarah and Nathaniel, age 14 (twins); Olivia, age 7; and Jonathan, age 5.

What year did you start working for Saudi Aramco? 1980

What year did you retire? 1985

Where do you live now? Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

What attracted you to working for Saudi Aramco and living in Saudi Arabia? The money! And the climate.

What is one of your favorite memories of Saudi Arabia? Friends and traveling.

What are some of your favorite hobbies in your retirement? Reading, RVing, and going down to Florida during the winter.

What are the main reasons you are attending the 2010 Annuitant’s Reunion in Orlando Florida? Visiting old acquaintances.

To reach John and Martha, email

Are you an Aramco ExPat? We want to learn more about you so we can include your story on our website. Please fill out this Form and we’ll share your story.

Students Reach Out to Elderly

13 December 2010 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

AOCe. Saudi Aramco-sponsored students assist elderly residents of Newcastle Chirton Resource Center, where they played games, talked about the Kingdom and demonstrated Arabic calligraphy.

NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom, December 08, 2010 — Seven Saudi Aramco-sponsored students volunteered to spend the day recently with elderly residents of Newcastle Chirton Resource Centre, one of several events in an outreach effort that links Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC) to the community.

Among the talents the students shared was Arabic calligraphy. Each resident of the center received a bookmark with his or her name in Arabic. The residents were fascinated with how their names looked in calligraphy.

“I never thought I would be able to connect with people with such different backgrounds and age differences, but being around them has changed the way I see things, said student Humoud Al-Rashed. They reminded me that this generation needs to be visited more often as they have a lot of experience to be shared.

AOCe_1. One of the Saudi Aramco-sponsored students shows a resident how her name is written in Arabic.

The center provides care and rehabilitation services for elderly people who have recently been discharged from the hospital before they move back to live on their own. The visit was a unique opportunity for the residents to engage with Saudi students, who told them about the Kingdom, taught them Arabic words and played games.

I will always cherish the many wonderful words of thanks and praise we received from the elderly. They had a great impact on myself and my friends, and one of the older gentlemen kept saying to us Good lads, good lads, said Ahmed Al-Rashdi.

As simple as those words were, they really made us believe that we had truly made them happy, he added.

AOC links outreach projects with organizations such as the Chirton Resource Centre as a way to connect with all different age groups and with those in need of support.

Engineers in War Against Corrosion

13 December 2010 | 1 comment | Saudi Aramco News | by

RAS TANURA, December 08, 2010 — Winning the battle against corrosion is everyone’s responsibility, Ras Tanura Refinery (RTR) general manager Mutleb K. Al-Shammeri told about 100 participants at the first RTR Corrosion Awareness Day.

It a constant, critical battle, Al-Shammeri said at the event, coordinated by RTR Inspection Unit in cooperation with the Consulting Services Department (CSD) and Inspection Department (ID).

RTR.Mansour Al-Zamil explains a shortwave infrared camera to Ras Tanura Refinery engineers during the exhibition that was part of Ras Tanura Refinery’s Corrosion Awareness Day. The day’s focus was to improve corrosion prediction, monitoring and mitigation by sharing knowledge across the disciplines, between young and old, to help them in the war against corrosion.

The primary goal was to improve corrosion prediction, monitoring and mitigation by sharing knowledge among RTR disciplines and transferring experience from senior to young engineers.  Al-Shammeri emphasized that last point, saying passing knowledge from RTR’s experienced staff to young engineers is crucial for sustainable operational integrity.     

RTR Inspection Unit supervisor Abdulrahman S. Al-Faqeeh explained how corrosion engineering initiatives and technology programs are central to RTR inspection operations. He also highlighted RTR Inspection’s knowledge-sharing efforts, such as the in-house training held by senior staff for young inspectors, and the quarterly inspection bulletin.   

CSD senior consultant Ahmed Al-Umair presented “RTR’s Materials and Corrosion High Priority Issues,” enumerating the top corrosion challenges at RTR.

In addition, RTR Inspection field supervisor Edward Wescott presented “Corrosion Inspection Using Radiography.”

The presentation showcased a number of field applications in which radiography, a conventional welding inspection technique, has been used to inspect for corrosion.

The Corrosion Awareness Day also included an exhibit of inspection and corrosion technologies demonstrated by members of the Inspection Department and the RTR Inspection Unit.

Knowledge-Sharing Videos Win Silver

13 December 2010 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

SAN FRANCISCO, December 08, 2010 – The Mechanical Services Shops Department (MSSD), in cooperation with Edutech India Pvt. Ltd., won the Brandon Hall Silver Award for Best Use of Video for Learning recently at the DevLearn 10 Conference.

To enter the contest, MSSD submitted five 10-15 minute videos. The learning tools were part of MSSD’s knowledge-sharing initiative, Experience Express (EX2).

MSSD.MSSD wins best use of video award.

EX2 is aimed at capturing knowledge about processes, techniques and technologies in order to enhance the performance and efficiency of shop-floor technicians, senior engineers and other key maintenance personnel.

The five videos showed MSSD maintenance procedures and activities Steam Turbine Case Laser Alignment, Continental Air Blower Disassembly, Pump Shaft Straightening, Rotor Balance Technique and Electric Test Bed Safe Operation.

MSSD believes that such learning tools capture veterans’ knowledge, thereby increasing productivity and enhancing performance as well as training new employees more effectively. The solutions envisage using the recorded videos and ultimately uploading them to the department website as part of the Human Resources Development Plan.

MSSD has identified more than 50 critical repair processes that will be videotaped to sustain and enhance craftsmen’s competitive advantages. The taping will be done in cooperation with Edutech, whose role will be to convert the videos to learning objects, and MSSD subject-matter experts will videotape selected repair processes. In addition, still photos will be used for quick reference in some repair procedures.

The award is presented annually by Brandon Hall Research, one of the leading research firms in training and development. A total of 214 entries were originally submitted in various areas. The entries were evaluated by a panel of independent judges.