Photograph Contributed by Saudi Aramco
HOUSTON, U.S.A. (January 18, 2005) - About a half million visitors each year are expected to tour a newly renovated exhibit in Houston to experience the story of energy as told, in part, by Saudi Aramco. About 40 percent of the visitors will be school children who will help shape the future.
The 750-square-meter exhibit, called the Wiess Energy Hall, has been a permanent part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science for the past 10 years. However, museum officials decided it was time for a major renovation to help ensure the exhibit hall remains state-of-the-art in form and function.
With the anticipated renovation, Aramco Services Co. (ASC) was given the opportunity to take on a major sponsorship role on behalf of Saudi Aramco in the area of geography and exploration.
Saudi Aramco is the lead sponsor of the project. Other sponsors include such notable energy companies as ConocoPhillips, ChevronTexaco, BP, Shell and ExxonMobil. The exhibit also will showcase Saudi Aramco's oil fields, oil facilities and transportation.
The exhibit hall is divided into 10 major sections, which include formation, geology, geography, exploration, drilling and development, reservoir and production, refining, natural gas, pipelines, and alternative energy.
Saudi Aramco's section is currently titled, "The Perfect Basin: Saudi Arabia's Oil," and will feature 3D subsurface models of Ghawar, Safaniya and Shaybah fields. ASC is coordinating efforts between Saudi Aramco's Exploration Technical Services Department and the museum's project manager to provide information.
The full-scale renovation will include extensive use of theater, static display and interactive attractions. Holograms and laser beams will supplement the use of lighting throughout the hall. Visitors will be able to "explore" the depths of oil-bearing formations by way of a geovator, which simulates the travel of a drill string as it seeks the productive zone. Other areas will explain the infrastructure needed to produce and ship crude oil to world ports and the challenging process of refining the oil into an array of fuels and finished products.
The hall is expected to open to the public in May, just in time for the Offshore Technology Conference held annually in Houston.
Saudi Aramco board members are expected to attend the opening while in Houston during their board meeting scheduled in May.