EXPEC ARC Expert Addresses Freiberg Gathering

15 July 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Laura Baker

DHAHRAN, July 13, 2011 — Dr. Mohamed Nabil Noui-Mehidi, a petroleum engineering specialist at the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center’s Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), was a keynote speaker at the 62nd annual Freiberg Research Conference at the Technical University of Freiberg on June 16-17.

The topic of this year’s colloquium was “Production and Storage of Energy in Subsurface.” The event brought together academic and industrial researchers from all over Germany, who gave several research presentations on subsurface storage of CO2 and H2, power generation through cyclic gas storage and reservoir studies in subsurface salt caverns.

Noui-Mehidi introduced the audience of 200 to EXPEC ARC, discussing research and focusing on advances in well-production technology.

“This visit was very beneficial from different perspectives,” said Noui-Mehidi. “First of all, it introduced EXPEC ARC to many German academic and industrial organizations and highlighted our research and aspirations of being the leader in oil and gas innovation. The colloquium topics were also very educational, and a number of fruitful discussions with key research personnel at TU Freiberg presented opportunities for future collaboration.”

“We are delighted Saudi Aramco is participating in the colloquium,” said Mohammed Amro, professor and chairman of Reservoir, Production and Storage Engineering at the Technical University of Freiberg. “It is great to see industry partners and academia coming together to explore solutions and new technologies in the energy business.”

Noui-Mehidi holds a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of Kobe, Japan, and has more than 20 years’ experience in the field. He has published more than 70 papers relating to well-production technology.

The Bergs Visit California

15 July 2011 | 0 comments | Annuitants | by Teresa Berg

For those living in Texas, we continue to battle the worst drought ever. Part of the US is battling aging floods and massive thunderstorms, but Texas is battling wildfires and a severe drought that encompasses most of the state. The drought continues for several, several years now. I have lost count.

Chris, Joji, and Monique Chris, Joji, and Monique

We continue to work on the ranch: repairing, fixing, enjoying the “dog days of summer,” and most of all trying to keep the vegetable garden and our fruit trees thriving. We have managed to stay busy and cool in the hottest part of the day.

Howard and I needed a break, so we decided to get away from it all and visit our youngest son Christopher, his wife Monique, and grandson Joji in California.

Our trip to Aliso Viejo, CA was a delight. We enjoyed a break from the hot temps of Texas. We flew into Long Beach airport and I remarked at the ease to fly in and out of that airport. Nothing like LAX. Reminded us a bit of Maui.

Joji and Howard Joji and Howard

Our son Chris picked us up and we made our way south on the highway to their home. The weather was so rewarding. The temperature never climbed more than 75 and the night temps were in the low 60s. Plus, it rained. Remarkable! Chris said it was “June Gloom.” We brought out the sweaters since it was chilly. Living close to the coastal area as they do, the breezes are remarkable; therefore, no need to turn on the AC. Now I know why our kids love living there.

Our grandson Joji has grown so much since our family reunion in Denver last November. Joji surprised us tremendously with his Spanish. Thank you, Chris and Mo! He is so lovable and very social. He is a wonderful eater and likes to play with cars, trucks, and balls, but loves going to the beach and the park most of all. I believe he will follow in his daddy’s footsteps and take up surfing someday.

Chris, Joji, and Teresa Chris, Joji, and Teresa

Our visit was short, sweet, but memorable. Looking forward to the next time we are all together. For now, we will have to rely on Skype.

In Texas, we did manage a reprieve the other day and we did get rain. We were like little children, cheering for the wonderful sight and sound. But now the forecast is back to “no rain” at all and climbing temperatures.

But the brightest part is that we have our granddaughter, Maddie Benware, for part of the summer. She will keep us enjoying life much more.

From Howard and Teresa at Rancho Dolores, we wish everyone a wonderful summer!

Enjoy more photos of The Berg’s Trip to California in an ExPat Gallery!

Relaunch of Aramco ExPats

15 July 2011 | 14 comments | Special Interest | by Aramco ExPats

As you make your daily visit to the Aramco ExPats homepage to see what’s new in the Aramco community, you’ll notice some changes. We’re launching a redesign of the website with some new features and some updates on current elements.

A new feature on our homepage is the Speakers Bureau, an educational resource that will allow Aramcons to share information about the rich history, culture, and industry of Saudi Arabia with their communities. More about this program will be provided in the future.

Another change for our relaunch is that you do not need to login when you’d like to post or view comments on articles and galleries. This will make it easier for you to connect with others in our community. A login will still be required for the Aramco ExPats Forum, and your previous Forum login will continue to work for this section.

From our homepage, you’ll also have direct access to our Facebook, which will help you reconnect with other Aramcons and Brats and share information with our online community.

One of the most popular Aramco ExPats features is Galleries, filled with photos from your travels, graduations and retirements, and life in Saudi Arabia. The new layout will make browsing these great images easier and a new search feature will make finding photos by name and location a breeze for our members.

Aramco ExPats will continue to provide information about Events, from Biennial Annuitant Reunions to monthly lunch gatherings of retirees in locations across the United States, on our website and in our weekly email newsletter. You can sign up to receive our newsletter, Highlights & Notices, from our homepage.

As always, Aramco ExPats will keep you updated with Announcements about recent anniversaries, retirements, births, and obituaries from our community, along with Pipeline News about Saudi Aramco itself. We’ll also continue to share information about travel opportunities with the Aramco ExPats Travel Club.

We look forward to sharing our new look with you to display your continued contributions of stories, photos, and more with the Aramco ExPats community.

ASC Hosts First Reliability Forum

14 July 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Judi Ottmann

HOUSTON, July 12, 2011 — Excellence in industry is enhanced with knowledge-sharing and a commitment by industry leaders to incorporate reliable technologies and standards into their operations. To support that principle, Aramco Services Co. (ASC) hosted the inaugural Saudi Aramco Global Reliability Forum on June 7 in Houston.

ASC Hosts First Reliability Forum ASC Hosts First Reliability Forum
Photo by Saudi Aramco

“The event demonstrated Saudi Aramco’s commitment to promote technological and operational excellence throughout the industry to help ensure the world continues to have reliable supplies of energy now and in the future,” said Majid Alghaslan, manager of ASC Technical Services.

More than 250 engineers and others from throughout North America and abroad participated in the one-day forum to share information on innovative technologies and best practices. They represented major oil and chemical companies such as Shell, Chevron, BP, Dow and DuPont as well as Saudi Aramco and ASC. They also represented manufacturing groups and engineering services companies.

Ali Abuali, then-ASC president and CEO, encouraged participants to learn from one another “to help solve some of the industry’s most difficult engineering challenges,” and to forge new partnerships with colleagues “who share a common goal of ensuring excellence in our industry,” he said.

During the forum’s opening general session, keynote speakers provided fresh perspectives on reliability from outside the oil and gas industry.

Peter Weertman, vice president of Technical Customer Support for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, talked about Boeing’s systematic and multi-layered approach to ensure the “health” of the world’s largest fleet of commercial jetliners — almost 12,000 airplanes. He said that, at any given time throughout the world, about 10,000 jets are in the sky. “Our goal is to help ensure that the passenger’s greatest concern during the course of travel is the safety of the ride to and from the airport.

Mike Mullane, an acclaimed professional speaker and author, retired U.S. Air Force colonel and NASA astronaut, talked about operational excellence, driving home messages of reliability through candid and colorful storytelling drawn from his experiences.

He warned against “Normalization of Deviance,” describing it as a long-term phenomenon in which individuals or teams repeatedly “get away” with a deviance from best practices until it eventually becomes the norm.

He also said it is important for business leaders to listen to the people who are closest to an issue. “It is important for leaders to establish a culture of safety and reliability by allowing employees to freely express their observations or concerns,” he said. “History shows that, in many cases, mishaps or disasters could have possibly been prevented if warnings from rank-and-file employees had been further explored.”

During the closing session, keynote speaker Paula Hollywood, senior analyst with the ARC Advisory Group — a leading research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure — presented survey results on how today’s industry leaders prioritize activities within their organizations to help ensure operational reliability.

The forum’s packed day also included 30 technical presentations given by participants in five tracks focusing on instrumentation and control systems, fixed equipment, electrical, machinery, and process control and operations.

Serving as track presenters from Saudi Aramco were Rami Dabbousi from the Consulting Services Department, and John Kinsley and Patrick Flanders from the Process and Control Systems Department. ASC’s Roger Jones also presented.

ASC engineers responsible for coordinating the event were Donald Dunn, supervisor; Gil Dolor, event coordinator; Louis Archuleta and Joe Rhodes.

Breakout tracks were led by Flanders, Jim Bowen, Charlie Green, Thor Stensvaag, Rajan Hingoraney, Howard Chiang and Joe Thorp.

Works of Art and Architecture in India

12 July 2011 | 0 comments | Travel & Leisure | by

History, culture, and amazing works by seasoned artists and craftsmen await visitors to India. An upcoming trip organized by the Dhahran Outing Group highlights three elements of India that should not be missed: shopping, treasures, and The Taj.

Take a look to find out what you’ll discover if you journey to India with the DOGs on November 3-11, 2011 with tour leader Valerie Fahey.


Hawa Mahal Hawa Mahal (“Palace of the Winds”) in Jaipur, India

The luxurious items of India have been desired around the world for centuries. During the DOGs exploration of India, you’ll have the chance to purchase some of these notorious goods during the shopping excursions. As Asia’s largest exporter of gold and diamonds, Jaipur is the place to go if you’re in the market for gems.

Also in Jaipur is Hawa Mahal, which means Palace of Winds, and was constructed in such a way that allowed royal ladies to see down to the street without being seen themselves. Close to this and several other sightseeing stops on the tour are shops with designer clothes and paintings.

At the end of the trip, you’ll have some time left for carpet shopping in Delhi after visiting Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret.

Painted Storks in an Acacia Tree at Keoladeo National Park Painted Storks at Keoladeo National Park
Photo by Krishna Kumar Mishra


In addition to the beautiful palaces and temples throughout the country, India has treasures of natural beauty and history. Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the Keoladeo National Park is home to more than 300 species of birds. For centuries, the area had been a hunting ground, but was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971.

The DOG tour will also have a chance to visit the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi in Raj Ghat, marking the spot of Gandhi’s cremation on January 31, 1948. The New York Times reported in 2010 that the memorial site attracts 10,000 visitors make each day.

The Taj

The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653 as a mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who died in 1631. Today, the tomb is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture, combining elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles, and a popular tourist destination for millions of visitors each year.

Taj Mahal The Eastern Side of the Taj Mahal After Sunrise
Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

DOG travellers will have an opportunity to appreciate the landmark at sunrise, as well as an optional afternoon visit.

If you are interested in joining this excursion, download India: Shopping, Treasures, and the Taj Brochure for full trip details.