|Industry||Oil and gas|
|Founded||1933 (as California-Arabian Standard Oil Co.)
1944 (as Aramco)
1988 (as Saudi Aramco)
|Headquarters||Dhahran, Saudi Arabia|
|Key people||Khalid A. Al-Falih
(President & CEO)
Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi
(Minister of Petroleum
and Mineral resources)
|Products||Petroleum, natural gas and other petrochemicals|
|Revenue||US$ 311 billion (2012)|
|Owners||Saudi Arabian government|
Saudi Aramco (Arabic: أرامكو السعودية ʾArāmkō s-Saʿūdiyyah), officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, most popularly known just as Aramco (Arabian-American Oil Company) is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to US$10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world's most valuable company.
Saudi Aramco has both the world's largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels (4.1×1010 m3), and largest daily oil production. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco operates the world's largest single hydrocarbon network, the Master Gas System. Its 2013 crude oil production total was 3.4 billion barrels (540,000,000 m3), and it manages over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas reserves. Saudi Aramco operates the Ghawar Field, the world's largest onshore oil field, and the Safaniya Field, the world's largest offshore oil field.
Saudi Aramco's was founded in response to the oil shortages of World War I and the exclusion of American companies from Mesopotamia if 1920. Standard Oil of California (SoCal) was among those US companies actively seeking new sources of oil from abroad.
SoCal through its subsidiary company, the Bahrain Petroleum Co. (BAPCO), struck oil on Bahrain in May 1932. This event heightened interest in the oil prospects of the Arabian mainland. On 29 May 1933, the Saudi Arabian government granted a concession to SoCal in preference to a rival bid from the Iraq Petroleum Co.. The concession allowed Socal to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia. SoCal assigned this concession to a wholly owned subsidiary called California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. (CASOC). In 1936, with the company having had no success at locating oil, the Texas Oil Co. (Texaco) purchased a 50% stake of the concession.
After four years, the seventh drill site in Dhahran struck oil in 1938, producing over 1,500 barrels per day (240 m3/d). On 31 January 1944, the company name was changed from California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. to Arabian American Oil Co. (or Aramco).
In 1950, King Abdulaziz threatened to nationalize his country's oil facilities, thus pressuring Aramco to agree to share profits 50/50. A similar process had taken place with American oil companies in Venezuela a few years earlier. The American government granted US Aramco member companies a tax break known as the golden gimmick equivalent to the profits given to King Abdulaziz. In the wake of the new arrangement, the company's headquarters were moved from New York to Dhahran.
In 1973, following US support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War, the Saudi Arabian government acquired a 25% stake in Aramco. It increased its shareholding to 60% by 1974, and finally took full control of Aramco by 1980, by acquiring a 100% percent stake in the company. Aramco partners continued to operate and manage Saudi Arabia's oil fields. In November 1988, a royal decree changed its name from Arabian American Oil Co. to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (or Saudi Aramco) and took the management and operations control of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas fields from Aramco and its partners. Saudi Aramco was the world's largest company with an estimated market value of $781 billion in 2005.
Saudi Aramco is headquartered in Dhahran; and its operations span the globe which include exploration, producing, refining, chemicals, distribution and marketing. All these activities of the company are monitored by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources together with the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals.
The company has an "Environmental Master Plan" to reduce the emissions provided by Capital Programs, some of which has already been completed. Saudi Aramco is a leading company in the region in reducing sulfur emissions, CO2, and flaring.
Aramco computers were attacked by a virus on 15 August 2012. The following day Aramco announced that none of the infected computers were part of the network directly tied to oil production, and that the company would soon resume full operations. Hackers claimed responsibility for the spread of the computer virus. The virus hit companies within the oil and energy sectors. A group named "Cutting Sword of Justice" claimed responsibility for an attack on 30,000 Saudi Aramco workstations, causing the company to spend a week restoring their services. The group later indicated that the Shamoon virus had been used in the attack. Due to this attack, the main site of Aramco went down and a message came to the home page apologizing to customers. Computer security specialists said that "The attack, known as Shamoon, is said to have hit "at least one organization" in the sector. Shamoon is capable of wiping files and rendering several computers on a network unusable."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saudi Aramco.|
- Web site of Aramco Services Co. - Saudi Aramco's US Subsidiary
- A CNN report about the security of oil in Saudi Arabia. Much of it is about Saudi Aramco security.
- Saudi Arabia's crude oil production chart (1980-2004) - Data sourced from the US Department of Energy
- CBS 60 Minutes (2008-12-07) "The Oil Kingdom: Part One".
- CBS 60 Minutes (2008-12-07) "The Oil Kingdom: Part Two".