Kingdom’s Top Officials Talk Technology

21 May 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Saudi Aramco News

RIYADH, May 18, 2011 — The sixth Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, recently attracted some of the Kingdom’s top officials and featured technical training experts and specialists from more than 15 countries.

Among the high-level participants was the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih Chairman of the General Organization for Technical and Vocational Education (GOTEVOT).

Kingdom's Top Officials Talk Technology Officials, including Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, second from right, open the Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Fakeih appeared on behalf of HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Aviation and Inspector General at the three-day event held at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Labor Minister noted that as one of the fastest-growing countries in population that has a large work force and an increased number of job seekers from both genders that has quadrupled in just a few short years, the Kingdom faces a challenge affecting the directions for development channels.

Thankfully, however, the government created the Human Resources Development Fund geared toward creating jobs that are technically and vocationally qualified at private-sector installations, Fakeih said.

GOTEVOT Governor Ali Al-Ghavis pointed to the conference as an effective tool to transferring technical expertise and increasing training in the Kingdom as a part of GOTVE efforts to improve its programs.

Representing Saudi Aramco at the event were Fahad I. Al-Mulhim, chief of the Marketing Team and Training Programs at the National Industrial Training Institute, and Saleh Assabti, deputy manager of Saudi Aramco Affairs in Riyadh.

After the speech, Saudi Aramco was recognized by the Labor Minister for its sponsorship and participation at the conference and exhibit.

A Saudi Aramco presentation for the Labor Minister at the company’s exhibit booth showcased three topics: developmental programs for high school and industrial-technical college graduates; employment procedures and requirements at Saudi Aramco; and an introduction to the National Industrial Training Institute, planned for al-Hasa region as part of a strategic partnership between Saudi Aramco and GOTEVOT.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges

20 May 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by Saudi Aramco News

AL-KHOBAR, May 18, 2011 — Hundreds of oilfield experts attended the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Dhahran Geoscience Society largest-ever technical symposium and exhibition in Saudi Arabia this week in al-Khobar.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges Saudi Aramco’s Upstream senior vice president Amin H. Nasser speaks Sunday at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ and Dhahran Geoscience Society’s technical symposium and exhibition.

The three-day event featured 20 technical sessions and more than 70 scientific papers in addition to workshops, courses and an outreach day to encourage Saudi high-school boys and girls to consider energy industry careers. This year theme was Tackling Upstream Challenges: Fueling the World Safely, Reliably and Cost Effectively.

With ever increasing energy demand, this theme is timely, calling for the use of innovative methods, new technologies and improved practices that will take the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry to new frontiers Saudi Aramco Upstream senior vice president Amin H. Nasser told delegates during his keynote speech Sunday.

A lot is riding on the petroleum industry ability to satisfy the ever increasing demand for oil and gas, and doing so safely, reliably, and cost effectively, Nasser said. Striking a balance between these three fundamental objectives is crucial to the sustainability of our industry, and in my opinion, the key to this is people and technology.

He said: Our real assets are our people and we believe that their human brain power is the engine that propels us forward. At Saudi Aramco, we have always been a strong advocate of our people development and we will continue to cultivate means to ensure their professional growth.

Technical sessions included topics ranging from reservoir management and emerging upstream technologies to unconventional resources and advanced rock physics. Dozens of Saudi Aramco employees and executives took part in the sessions as chairpersons or presenters.

Nasser said he was particularly interested in a panel discussion on shale gas from Middle Eastern reservoirs.

Oilfield Experts Tackle Upstream Challenges Amin H. Nasser helps kick off the three-day Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) technical symposium and exhibition in Al-Khobar. Alain Labastie, SPE president, right, and Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, left, chairman and CEO for Weatherford, joined him for the ribbon cutting.

As we venture in new frontiers of tapping into the promising tight and shale gas plays within the Kingdom, we will collaborate with our partners in success to develop fit-for-purpose technologies and innovative solutions to bring to light an abundance of energy resources. he said. We are confident that the discussion will trigger and stimulate new ideas to unlock the full potential of this resource.

EXPEC ARC manager Samer S. Ashgar served as the moderator of that event, and Brian E. Gratto, manager of Exploration Resource Assessment, was among the panelists.

EXPEC ARC petroleum engineer Ghaithan A. Muntasheri, the chairman of the 2011 symposium, praised the Young Professionals committee of the Society of Petroleum Engineers for their outreach program to Saudi teenagers.

Under the title Your Future Career more than 500 young men and women got to take part in a full day of informational sessions about engineering and science disciplines and the careers to which they lead.

It is our thank-you note to our great community and a clear message to the young generation that they will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Saudi Arabian economy Muntasheri told delegates at the inauguration of the symposium.

He added: This program will definitely help high-school students make informed decisions about their future careers, resulting in a work force that is highly productive, highly innovative, and more importantly, ready to tackle future challenges and seek every growth opportunity.

The annual event was organized by members of the Saudi Arabia Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Dhahran Geoscience Society.

A Remarkable 20-Day Journey in Nepal

20 May 2011 | 0 comments | Travel & Leisure | by

Once again, former Aramcon Marian Leighton is leading an exciting trek through the mountains of Nepal with Samsara Journeys. If you’re interested in taking part in this remarkable 20-day journey, please keep reading to find out more about some of the key stops along the way.

South Face of Annapurna South Face of Annapurna
Photo by Gianni Scopinaro

Located in north central Nepal, Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas that consists of multiple peaks over 7000 meters and 16 more over 6000 meters, including Annapurna I at 8091 meters (26,545 feet). The literal translation of Annapurna is Sanskrit for “full of food,” but is better known as “Goddess of the Harvests,” for the Hindu goddess of nourishment.

Surrounding the many peaks is the Annapurna Conservation Area, the first and largest conservation area in Nepal, established in 1986 by the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. It is a well-known trekking region, which is perfect for this trip.

Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu
Photo by Peter Akkermans

Fittingly, this trip begins and concludes with time in Nepal’s largest metropolitan city, Kathmandu, also the country’s capital city. Nearly 2000 years old, Kathmandu has many palaces, courtyards, and temples dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

When Marian and the group aren’t trekking, they’ll have a chance to see these beautiful structures in Kathmandu and the nearby Patan City, as well as the Tibetan Refugee Camp, established in 1960 under the International Red Cross and the Swiss Development Corporation in cooperation with His Majesty’s Government of Nepal.

Chitwan National Park
Granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984, Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Previously a popular hunting ground, the Chitwan Valley in south Nepal opened to settlement in the 1950s and animal poaching had a devastating effect on the rhinoceros population. To prevent the extinction, the Chitwan National Park was established in 1973, initially encompassing an area of 544 square kilometers; the area was expanded to 932 square kilometers in 1977. Activities for park visitors include wildlife viewing, nature walks, bird watching, land rover and elephant safaris, river trips by canoe, and much more.

Chitwan Valley, Nepal Chitwan Valley, Nepal
Photo by Bas Wallet

All this and more await you in Nepal. If you’re up for this exciting adventure in October 2011, download Discover Nepal Brochure for full trip details and visit Aramco ExPats Travel Club to learn about all the travel opportunities available for Aramcons and ExPats.

Nabil Al-Dabal Receives Edwards Medal

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

DHAHRAN, May 18, 2011 — The American Society for Quality (ASQ) has awarded Nabil Al-Dabal, former manager of the Inspection Department and current managing director of Aramco Overseas Company (AOC), the 2010 ASQ Edwards Medal for outstanding leadership in quality control.

The medal was slated to be presented May 15 before the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Pittsburgh, Pa., in the United States.

Nabil Al-Dabal Receives Edwards Medal Nabil Al-Dabal

The Edwards Medal is given for demonstrating the most outstanding leadership in application of modern quality control methods, especially through the organization and administration of such work,” according to ASQ president E. David Spong.

Spong said the citation reads “for his outstanding contribution to transform the quality culture and performance of a significant work force, the local industry, and the largest oil producer through modern quality philosophy and management methods.

Al-Dabal was recognized for his significant achievements and improvements as a manager, including:

Assuring assets are being engineered, procured, installed, operated, and maintained effectively.

Focusing on integrated quality solutions and on knowledge sharing through a quality leadership program for local industry, academia, research centers, and professional societies.

His laser-like focus on the professional quality growth of the work force.

Al-Dabal managed a department that consists of six divisions and more than 900 employees. The Inspection Department manages and assures the workmanship, quality and on-time services of Saudi Aramco mega-projects. This responsibility involves ensuring the highest quality in the construction and operation of oil and gas plants, refineries and other infrastructure.

Through quality, the Inspection Team contributes to Saudi Aramco’s commitment to meet global energy demands.

The department has transformed from “compliance to requirements” to a “belief based quality performance” and has been recognized by obtaining the highest quality certifications (ISO 9001:2000 “QMS” and ISO 29001:2007 “Oil & Gas Sector-Specific Quality Management Systems”).

Memories of Syed Sher

17 May 2011 | 0 comments | Annuitants | by

Syed Asif Sher Syed Asif Sher

My father, Syed Sher, worked for Saudi Aramco as a Computer Operator/Programmer in the Computer Operation Division from 1975 to 1985.

Our family lived in the Thuqba area of al-Khobar. My mother’s name is Rashida Sher and I have a sister named Farkhanda Azfer. I have one child named Syed Arzam Sher and my sister has two children named Muhammede Affan Ghazali and Muhammed Shaheem Ghazali.

As Aramco was such an esteemed organization, it was a wonderful experience for my father and for his family to enjoy the fringe benefits of Aramco. Being an employee of Aramco was one of his sweetest memories of Saudi Arabia.

After returning to Pakistan, my father’s hobbies included reading newspapers, watching television, and discussing political polarization.

My father passed away from a myocardial infarction in November 1999. He was buried at Sakhi Hasan Graveyard in North Nazimabad, Pakistan. May his soul rest in an eternal peace and may Allah grant him the highest place in paradise.

Dr. Syed Azam Sher and his son Syed Arzam Sher Dr. Syed Azam Sher (left) and his son Syed Arzam Sher.

I am working in Buraida as a Specialist in Public Health for the Ministry of Health since September of 2006.

If you would like to contact Syed, please email him at

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.