Refinery Lab Garners ISO Certification

12 July 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Saudi Aramco News

RAS TANURA, July 6, 2011 — Reliability. That has become a byword for Ras Tanura Refinery Laboratory (RTR-Lab).

Refinery Lab Garners ISO Certification Refinery Lab Garners ISO Certification
Photo by Saudi Aramco

Established in the 1940s, the laboratory was the first of its kind in Aramco, and more than 60 years on, it continues to play a pivotal role in company operations.

Analyzing an average of 309 samples per day, scientists conduct more than 1,000 daily tests using 522 different types of equipment serving Ras Tanura Refinery, Ju‘aymah NGL Fractionation Plants, Qatif Plants, Eastern Distribution Bulk Plants and the Ras Tanura Terminal.

The laboratory’s success boils down to the right mix of people, equipment and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Simply put, RTR-Lab is an effective combination of man, machine and procedure.

“The diversity and complexity of RTR-Lab’s operations are backed up by a group of lab scientists and lab technicians who work tirelessly to ensure that the laboratory’s quality system is continuously improving,” said Khalid Al-Ghamdi, RTR-Lab supervisor.

The laboratory’s 88 staff conduct round-the-clock analysis of crude oil and refined petroleum products, in addition to testing process stream samples and boiler water cooling effluent.

The staff has been the key factor in the laboratory’s renewal of its international quality standard ISO17025, issued by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

“This kind of analytical work is crucial,” said Al-Ghamdi, “not only for sales and process control but also for the safe handling and storing of refined petroleum products. The reliability of our test results is a must.”

The laboratory is considered one of the most diverse and complex in Saudi Aramco and aims to be a regional reference laboratory in hydrocarbon analysis.

Al-Ghamdi said the laboratory’s management has been pivotal to its accomplishments.

“They have given special attention to training of technical staff. Our staff have participated in internationally recognized proficiency testing programs where they analyze unknown samples and deliver accurate results,” he said.

“With this kind of support, and by using the state-of-the-art lab analytical equipment,” Al-Ghamdi said, “we have been able to maintain the ISO17025. This proves our lab tests are meeting international standards, and this is testament to the hard work of our scientists and technicians.”

Program Challenges Kingdom’s Gifted Students

11 July 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Aref Younis (Saudi Aramco News)

DHAHRAN, July 6, 2011 — One hundred, sixty talented male and female high-school students from across the Kingdom will spend their summer at Saudi Aramco learning more about responsibility.

The Saudi Aramco Summer Gifted Program (SGP) is an intensive annual program under the patronage of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba).

Jamal K. Al-Dabal, senior consultant of the design team, said 120 male and 40 female participants arrived in company training facilities and will stay until July 27.

Although it’s not unusual for young women to take part, this year’s program includes some enhancements this year, said the program’s Seena S. Omran, vice president of the female section. New tracks in engineering and math have been introduced. The girls will go to the community, on field trips, and the community will come to them, as speakers with special expertise.

“There are four scientific tracks in both programs, for both genders,” said SGP chairman Rubaian F. Al- Shahrani, in a July 3 presentation to participants and executives: advanced math, iSpark (science and technology), engineering and Future City Design.

A separate enrichment segment, Al-Dabal said, “covers public speaking, building self-confidence, the art of scientific discovery, Mawhibaty (my talent) and marketing.”

“A number of professionals from Saudi Aramco and thought leaders from beyond Saudi Aramco will also contribute to student learning,” Al-Dabal said. “The students will also get involved in society based and targeted projects.”

Two program tracks this year focus on engineering and have been designed by young engineers, most of them Professional Development Program participants. The first track tells students about the various areas of engineering and includes visits to Saudi Aramco sites and other companies.

The second is about urban planning. It takes a section of al-Khobar and the Dhahran-Khobar highway and allows students to redesign them based on their expectations about growth and infrastructure needs. Students can imagine and plan the future in ways that might go beyond their expectations.

“Summer gives us a chance to positively influence student learning and skills as part of our contribution to Saudi society,” said Huda Al-Ghoson, acting executive director of Employee Relations and Training. “Although the boys’ and girls’ programs just started late last week, I have witnessed firsthand the impact on student learning, engagement and overall self-confidence. We work the students to their limit to ensure the best comes out in terms of educational and personal results.”

In a tour of the program, Al-Ghoson had a clear objective. Since the program cannot encompass all students and communities in Saudi Arabia, she said, the gifted students have a role to spread the message. When they finish the program, they need to take what they have learned and go out of their way to positively influence their colleagues and families throughout the Kingdom with the learning, skills and attitudes they have benefited from during this “life-transforming program.”

Al-Shahrani said, “The objectives of SGP are to strengthen students’ foundations in science, math, engineering and technology — increasing students’ ability to take charge of their self-development.”

To date, 45 percent of SGP students have been selected to attend King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; 15 percent have joined the College Preparatory Program (CPP); and several have qualified for the Intel Science, Engineering and Math Competition and the Ibtikar Exhibition, a biennial innovation exhibition that takes place in Jiddah.

SGP is a 12-year partnership between Saudi Aramco and Mawhiba, targeting Saudi gifted students in the 10th and 11th grades who have outstanding scores on the Special Qiyas (rating) Exam.

(Article by Aref Younis)

July Meeting of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association

11 July 2011 | 0 comments | Pakistan | by Engr Iqbal Ahmed Khan

The monthly meeting of Ex-Saudi Aramco Employees Association Sindh (SAEEA) based held at Mr Ghulam Qutub Khan’s residence as he was sick and it was decided to visit him and hold the meeting as well, on July 05, 2011 at 11:30 am. The attendees were as follows:

SAEEA Group at Ghulam Qutub Khan's Residence SAEEA Group at Ghulam Qutub Khan’s Residence
  • Kamal Farooqi
  • Engr Iqbal Ahmed Khan
  • Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan
  • Sher Ali
  • Mohammad Abdul Matin
  • Mrs. Mahtab Saeed Khan
  • Mr. Mahtab Saeed Khan, guest
  • Mr. Sarwar Saeed Khan, guest

The meeting started with the recitation from Holy Quran by Mr Kamal Farooqi. Later all the members enquired about the health of Mr Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan.

Mr. Kamal Farooqi President of SAEEA explained the activities took place during the month of June 2011. He pointed out that during the month we had lack of communication among the office bearers which should not be the case in future as it delays our work assigned to the members. All the members should ensure that they set their priorities in future so that we all are always in contact and do our job more efficiently. He further stated that the receipt books for the subscription collection have been printed and will be handed over by Mr. Mohammad Abdul Matin to Mr Sher Ali-Treasurer SAEEA.

A Bank account has been opened in the name of S.A.E.E.A. and its details are as follows:

Name of Account: S.A.E.E.A.
Bank: Al-Baraka Islami Bank (Pakistan)
Limited Address: City Tower, Shahra-e-Faisal
Branch Account No: 36-00-00-0212
Swift Code: AIINPKK and the branch is Online

All the members should now start paying their subscription Rs.1500 (Rupees Fifteen Hundred only) for the period July 2011 thru June 2012 either directly in the bank account or to any Office bearer of SAEEA, the receipt will either be provided right away or later if the subscription is paid to any office holder. The collection of the subscription/donation is already started and a total of eighteen members paid the subscription in cash and three members paid by cheques. Few members also gave donation to the association. We hope that all the remaining will follow.

As we had nominated Mrs Mahtab Khan as Women Representative for SAEEA for the Marriage Bureau, She has developed a form for all the members to formulate the process.

To receive the form, the contact details for Mrs Mahtab Khan is as follows:

Name: Mrs Mahtab Khan
eMail address:
Land Line Phone No: 021-34511633
Cell No: 0303-217-0136

All members were requested to start working on finding/selecting the venue for the Eid Milan Party of the association. The venue should be in the center of the city. Few suggestion came about the venue but it was decided to discuss the matter in the next meeting in detail.

SAEEA wants to establish a Web page for the association and Mr Mahtab Saeed Khan CEO of HAMSAA offered the services of his company for this. The SAEEA will contact HAMSAA in near future to discuss the same for action on the subject.

It was suggested that all the ex-employees of Saudi Aramco who are doing business may send the details of their business so that it can be passed to other members for a possibility if it can be helpful to other parties and may be benefitial. This will bring all members close and the community of SAEEA will have fruitful results.

We are still waiting for the indoor and outdoor activities participants of the organization. Nobody has put any offer in forming the teams. It is requested by all members to come forward and form their team in any game like Bridge, Badminton, Cricket, Hockey etc. It will be highly appreciated to have something done before our upcoming Eid Milan Party. Parents are requested to encourage their young ones to come forward in this activity of SAEEA.

The visit to our sick friends could not be done as Mr Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan was sick and other members were very busy in some of their private business. In sha Allah, this will start as soon as Qutub Sahib is well and recovered.

The visit to our female members who are sick is also to be established and In sha Allah we will ensure that it also start at the same time when we start visiting our male members.

Last but not the least Mr Kamal Farooqi made Dua for the magfarat of Late Mr Dawood Shaikh and Mr Mohammad Arif Shaikh elder brother of ex-employee Mr Manzoor Shaikh, expired in June, 2011.

Engr Iqbal A. Khan Engr Iqbal A. Khan
Vice President SAEEA

The contact for Mr Manzoor Shaikh are:

Cell: 0321-42336140I
Land line: 02136607421.

He further made dua for all the fellow members who were sick and cannot attend any of our functions and those spouse of fellow members who are not well.

The next function will be after Eid Holidays and the next Progress Meeting will be held on August 01, 2011 at Mr Sher Ali’s Office.

If you have any question please contact Engr Iqbal Ahmed Khan on +92-321-701-4929.

A Tradition of Excellence

8 July 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Matt Horton (Saudi Aramco News)

DHAHRAN, July 6, 2011 — Saudi Aramco’s international team of baseball players is getting ready for this year’s round of international tournaments.

A Tradition of Excellence A Tradition of Excellence
Photo by Saudi Aramco

Since 1983, the Arabian American Little League (AALL) travel team has advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 21 times. The AALL hopes to maintain its 11-year streak when the team heads to Kutno, Poland, on July 10 for the Mid-East/Africa (MEA) qualifier tournament.

It will face teams from the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, including Kuwait, Dubai, South Africa and Uganda. If the team wins the MEA qualifier, it will represent the entire region at the Aug. 18-28 Little League World Series.

Saudi Aramco’s youth baseball system is overseen by two organizations. The Dhahran Youth Baseball Association (DYBA) runs the regular season, and the AALL is responsible for the traveling team. The AALL has a long history competing in the World Series. Its first trip to Williamsport was in 1983 (it was known as the Arabian Gulf Little League at the time). Since then, the AALL team has failed to reach the tournament only six times.

The coaching staff plans to honor this achievement by inviting former travel-team coaches who have participated in the current streak of 11 trips to Williamsport to the team’s annual banquet on June 27.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Within two years, Little League baseball’s popularity exploded, leading to the creation of 307 new leagues. The series was first televised in 1953 with famous broadcaster Howard Cosell handling play-by-play duties.

The series continued to grow in popularity, becoming the truly worldwide event it is today. The tournament is composed of eight American teams and eight international teams. Each team must win a regional qualifier to gain entry.

Although the AALL has a history of success in the Kutno qualifier, anything can happen.

“Some of the DYBA teams traveled around the region and played our potential rivals in the MEA qualifier,” said head coach Neil Wilkey. “We know that the Middle-Eastern teams are very well-prepared, and Africa is an up-and-coming baseball power.”

The coaches are preparing the players for Kutno by emphasizing four core aspects of the game: baseball IQ, fitness, technique and mental toughness. The team watches professional baseball games and discusses baseball theory in two-hour weekly sessions in order to improve their baseball IQ. The players are also expected to go on two-mile runs three times a week outside of practice to maintain their physical fitness.

The DYBA brought in former professional baseball player Dan Caldwell to help the players improve technical aspects of their game. The coaches also emphasize the need to maintain mental toughness by taking one play at a time and not dwelling on individual mistakes after they have learned from them.

The players practice five nights a week and have two practices on Thursdays. Although the preparation may seem excessive, it pays off in the long run. “Our intense training allows us to overcome the population advantage other leagues have,” said DYBA vice president and former travel team head coach James Durley. “We’ve always had good pitching and fundamentals due to our enhanced regimen.”

The extra training also fosters team unity.

“The kids are out there practicing almost 20 hours a week,” said Wilkey. “That figure doesn’t include voluntary personal workouts or team sleepovers. The other coaches and I feel the boys have come together and truly formed a team. They will be facing the upcoming tournaments as a single unit, not as individual players, and that is something special.”

The team plans to create a blog, which will be updated throughout the tournaments. The players also helped teammate Tyler Wilkins and the Boy Scouts with a car wash for Tyler’s Eagle Scout fund-raiser on June 24 at the Walnut St. parking lot. Proceeds from the car wash will be donated to a foster home in Poland.

The AALL is one of the most visible Saudi Aramco self-directed groups. It has been featured on international television and is a fixture at the World Series.

Players and their positions are: Tanner Beachy, first base, pitcher; Brandon Carswell, outfield, second base; Dylan Ell, third base, pitcher; Hadi Fadlallah, catcher; Jordan Hajazin, third base; Julian Kinney, second base, pitcher; Gustavo Leon, pitcher, outfield; Shane Norton, outfield, second base; Bradlee Sumner, shortstop; Jonathan Wilkey, outfield, third base; and Tyler Wilkins, pitcher, outfield.

(Article by Matt Horton)

Usamah Rashid Graduates from Fox School of Business

7 July 2011 | 0 comments | Graduations & Retirements | by Ahmad Rashid

Usamah Rashid

Ellicott City, Maryland – Usamah A. Rashid, son of Saudi Aramco Annuitant Ahmad and Jamila Rashid of Al-Khobar, graduated from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May 2011.

Usamah had received his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Actuarial Science. During his college years, he also completed three of the required ten exams towards becoming a Certified Actuary.

He is currently employed by Buck Consultants, a consultancy firm in New Jersey, which is about 200 miles away from his parents, who live in Maryland.

Congratulations to Usamah!