|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)
(Minister of Petroleum
and Mineral resources)
|Products||Petroleum, natural gas and other petrochemicals|
|Revenue||US$ 400 billion (2012 est.)|
|Owner(s)||Saudi Arabian government|
Saudi Aramco (Arabic: أرامكو السعودية ʾArāmkō s-Saʿūdiyyah), officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is a Saudi Arabian national oil 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 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 yearly production is 3.479 billion barrels (553,100,000 m3), and it managed over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 284.8 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas reserves. Saudi Aramco owns the Ghawar Field, the world's largest oil field, and the Shaybah Field, one of the world's largest oil fields.
- 1 History
- 2 Operation
- 3 Environmental record
- 4 Financial data
- 5 Cyber attack
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
The origins of Saudi Aramco lie in the oil shortages of World War I and the exclusion of American companies from Mesopotamia by the San Remo Petroleum Agreement of 1920. The US Republican administration had popular support for an ‘Open Door’ policy, which Herbert Hoover, secretary of commerce, initiated in 1921. 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 of fruitless exploration, the first success came with the seventh drill site in Dhahran in 1938, a well referred to as Dammam No. 7. This well immediately produced over 1,500 barrels per day (240 m3/d), giving the company confidence to continue. On 31 January 1944, the company name was changed from California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. to Arabian American Oil Co. (or Aramco). In 1948, Socal and Texaco were joined as investors by Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso) which purchased 30% of the company, and Socony Vacuum (later Mobil) which purchased 10% of the company, leaving Socal and Texaco with 30% each. The newcomers were also shareholders in the Iraq Petroleum Co. and had to get the restrictions of the Red Line Agreement lifted in order to be free to enter into this arrangement.
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. It officially cut all oil supply to Israel the same year by order of the CEO. Following the events that unfolded in 1988, Saudi Aramco became a fully owned, privately held company. Saudi Aramco was the world's largest company with an estimated market value of $781 billion in 2005. Concerns for monopolization of the world's economy have been raised.
- 1932 Oil is discovered in Bahrain. Socal begins a year-long series of negotiations with the Saudi government.
- 1933 Saudi Arabia grants oil concession to California Arabian Standard Oil Co. (Casoc), affiliate of Standard Oil of California (Socal, today's Chevron Corp.). Oil prospecting begins on Kingdom's east coast.
- 1936 Texas Oil Co. (which became Texaco, now part of Chevron) acquires 50% interest in Socal's concession. The joint venture became known as the California Texas Oil Co., or Caltex.
- 1938 Kingdom's first commercial oil field discovered at Dhahran. Crude is exported by barge to Bahrain.
- 1939 First tanker load of petroleum is exported. (Socal’s D.G. Scofield)
- 1944 Casoc changes its name to Arabian American Oil Co. (Aramco).
- 1945 Ras Tanura Refinery begins operations (eventually becomes the largest oil-refinery in the world).
- 1948 Standard Oil of New Jersey (which became Exxon and now ExxonMobil) and Socony-Vacuum Oil (which became Mobil and now ExxonMobil) join Socal (now Chevron) and Texaco (now Chevron) as owners of Aramco.
- 1950 1,700 km Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (Tapline) is completed, linking Eastern Province oil fields to Lebanon and the Mediterranean.
- 1950 The US government bestows upon the US member companies a tax break equivalent to 50% of oil profits, a deal known as the Golden gimmick.
- 1956 Aramco confirms scale of Ghawar and Safaniya, the largest onshore and the largest offshore field in the world, respectively.
- 1961 Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - propane and butane — is first processed at Ras Tanura and shipped to customers.
- 1966 Tankers begin calling at "Sea Island", new offshore crude oil loading platform off Ras Tanura.
- 1973 Saudi Government acquires 25 percent interest in Aramco.
- 1975 Master Gas System project is launched.
- 1980 Saudi Government acquires 100 percent participation interest in Aramco, purchasing almost all of the company's assets.
- 1981 East-West Pipelines, built for Aramco natural gas liquids and crude oil, link Eastern Province fields with Yanbu on the Red Sea.
- 1982 King Fahd visits Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, on Aramco's 50th Anniversary to inaugurate the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC), a milestone in the Saudization of the company's operations.
- 1984 Company acquires its first four supertankers.
- 1987 East-West Crude Oil Pipeline expansion project is completed, boosting capacity to 3.2 million barrels (510,000 m3) per day.
- 1988 Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, is established.
- 1988 Oil supply to Israel is officially ceased by order of the President and CEO.
- 1989-1990 High-quality oil and gas are discovered in three areas south of Riyadh — the Raghib area about 77 miles southeast of the capital.
- 1991 Company plays major role combating Gulf War oil spill, the world's largest.
- 1992 East-West Crude Oil Pipeline capacity is boosted to 5 million barrels (790,000 m3) per day. Saudi Aramco affiliate purchases 35% interest in SsangYong Oil Refining Co. (S-Oil) in the Republic of Korea.
- 1993 Saudi Aramco takes charge of Kingdom's domestic refining, marketing, distribution and joint-venture refining interests by buying Jeddah-based Saudi Arabian Marketing and Refining Co. (SAMAREC). The company also assumed the Saudi Arabian government's 50% share of the Jubail export refining company, which becomes the Saudi Aramco Shell Refining Co. (SASREF).
- 1994 Maximum sustained crude-oil production capacity is returned to 10 million barrels (1,600,000 m3) per day. Company acquires a 40% equity interest in Petron, largest refiner in the Philippines.
- 1995 Company completes a program to build 15 very large crude carriers. Saudi Aramco President and CEO Ali I. Al-Naimi is named the Kingdom's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and Chairman of Saudi Aramco. Abdullah S. Jum'ah is named the CEO, President, and Director of Saudi Aramco.
- 1996 Saudi Aramco acquires 50 percent of Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries and Avinoil from the Vardinoyannis family. Company also assumes controlling interest in two Jeddah-based lubricants companies, now known as Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Co. (Luberef) and Saudi Arabian Lubricating Oil Co. (Petrolube).
- 1998 Saudi Aramco, Texaco and Shell establish Motiva Enterprises LLC, a major refining and marketing joint venture in the southern and eastern United States.
- 1999 HRH Crown Prince 'Abd Allah inaugurates the Shaybah field in the Rub' al-Khali desert, one of the largest projects of its kind in the world goes on stream. The Dhahran-Riyadh-Qasim multi-product pipeline and the Ras Tanura Upgrade project are completed. The second Saudi Aramco-Mobil lubricating oil refinery (Luberef II) in Yanbu' commences operations.
- 2000 Petroleum Intelligence Weekly ranks the company the first in the world for the 11th straight year, for the country's crude oil reserves and production. Aramco Gulf Operations Limited is established to administer the government's petroleum interest in the Offshore Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. New facilities are under construction in the Haradh and Hawiyah gas plant projects to process gas for delivery to the Master Gas System and to domestic markets.
- 2001 Hawiyah Gas Plant, capable of processing up to 1.6 billion scf per day of non-associated gas, comes on stream.
- 2003 Haradh Gas Plant completed two and a half months ahead of schedule.
- 2004 HRH Crown Prince 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al Saud, First Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the National Guard, inaugurates the 800,000-barrel-per-day (130,000 m3/d) Qatif-Abu Sa'fah Producing Plants mega project. In addition to the crude, the plants provide 370 million scf of associated gas daily.
- 2005 Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. sign a joint venture agreement for the development of a large, integrated refining and petrochemical complex in the Red Sea town of Rabigh, on Saudi Arabia's west coast. This becomes known as Petro Rabigh.
- 2006 Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical break ground on Media:PETRORabigh, an integrated refining/petrochemical project. Haradh III completed, yielding 300,000 bbl/d (48,000 m3/d) of oil. Accords signed for two export refineries—Jubail (with Total) and in Yanbu' (with Conoco-Phillips).
- 2007 Saudi Aramco subsidiary Saudi Aramco Sino Co. Ltd. signs agreements with ExxonMobil, Sinopec Corp and the Fujian Provincial Government of China to form two joint ventures: Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a refining and petrochemicals venture, and Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd. (SSPC), a marketing venture.
- 2008 Saudi Aramco celebrates the 75th anniversary of 29 May 1933, signing of the oil concession between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Standard Oil of California (Socal). King Abdullah visits Dhahran to celebrate the 75th anniversary.
- 2009 CEO inaugurates KAUST, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where many high profile guest, state leaders, kings, and scholars attended the ceremony.
- 2009 Saudi Aramco reaches 12 Mbbl/d (1,900,000 m3/d) capacity after completing an expansion program. Also, Petro Rabigh, the company's first petrochemical plant (a partnership with Sumitomo Chemicals Co., Ltd., begins production.
- 2010 Saudi Aramco unveils GigaPOWERS™ and runs a first field test of Resbots™.
- 2011 Saudi Aramco starts production from Karan Gas Field, with an output of more than 400 million scf per day.
- 2011 Saudi Aramco is officially named the world's largest and most valuable privately owned company. Saudi Aramco is said to be monopolizing the world's energy market.
- 2011 Aramco raised selling prices for all crude grades for customers in Asia and Northwest Europe for April shipments and cut prices for customers in the U.S.
- 2012 Aramco was ranked by Forbes as the first among the World's largest oil companies.
- 2013 Saudi Aramco Asia Co. Ltd. which is a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco has announced that it plans to set up an USD 8 billion joint venture with Pertamina which is Indonesia’s state oil and gas company.
- 2013 Saudi Aramco makes its largest contract ever to Siemens for power plants components, totalling $966.8 million.
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. However, the ministry has much more responsibility in this regard than the council.
A significant portion of the Saudi Aramco workforce consists of geophysicists and geologists. Saudi Aramco has been exploring for oil and gas reservoirs since 1982. Most of this process takes place at the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC). Originally, Saudi Aramco used Cray Supercomputers (CRAY-1M) in its EXPEC Computer Center (ECC) to assist in processing the colossal quantity of data obtained during exploration and in 2001, ECC decided to use Linux clusters as a replacement for the decommissioned Cray systems. ECC installed a new supercomputing system in late 2009 with a disk storage capacity of 1,050 terabytes (i.e, exceeding one petabyte), the largest storage installation in Saudi Aramco's history to support its exploration in the frontier areas and the Red Sea.
This is the most crucial process and as such accounts for the largest segment of the Saudi Aramco workforce. Drilling new wells efficiently and then maintaining them requires the company to employ a large number of engineers. With the increasing global demand for oil, Saudi Aramco seeks to expand its oil production. To do this the company seeks to expand the number of engineers and geo-scientists it employs.
Refining and Chemicals
While the company did not originally plan on refining oil, the Saudi government wished to have only one company dealing with oil production. Therefore, on 1 July 1993, the government issued a royal decree merging Saudi Aramco with Samarec, the country's oil refining company. The following year, a Saudi Aramco subsidiary acquired a 40% equity interest in Petron Corp., the largest crude oil refiner and marketer in the Philippines. Since then, Saudi Aramco has taken on the responsibility of refining oil and distributing it in the country.
Currently, Saudi Aramco's refining capacity is more than 4 million barrels per day (640,000 m3/d) (International joint and equity ventures: 2,060 Mbbl/d (328,000,000 m3/d), domestic joint ventures: 1,108 mpbd, and wholly owned domestic operations: 995 Mbbl/d (158,200,000 m3/d).) This figure is set to increase as more projects go online.
Additionally, Saudi Aramco's downstream operations are shifting its emphasis to integrate refineries with petrochemical facilities. Their first venture into it is with Petro Rabigh, which is a joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical Co. that began in 2005 on the coast of the Red Sea.
List of refineries
List of domestic refineries:
- Jeddah Refinery (60,000 bbl/d (9,500 m3/d) nominal capacity)
- Ras Tanura Refinery (includes a Crude Distillation Unit, a Gas Condensate Unit, a hydrocracker, and catalytic reforming.
- Riyadh Refinery
- Yanbu Refinery
List of domestic refining ventures:
- The Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Co. Ltd. (SAMREF), Yanbu
- The Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co. (SASREF), Jubail
- Petro Rabigh, Rabigh
- Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Co. (Luberef)
- Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. (SATORP), Jubail
- Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refinery (YASREF), Yanbu 11 July 2012
List of international refining ventures:
- Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. (FRPC), People's Republic of China
- Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd. (SSPC), People's Republic of China
- Motiva Enterprises LLC, United States
- Showa Shell, Japan
- S-Oil, Republic of Korea
Saudi Aramco has employed several tankers to ship crude oil, refined oil and gas to various countries. It has created a wholly owned subsidiary company, Vela International Marine Limited, to handle shipping to North America, Europe and Asia.
Research and development
Saudi Aramco has taken a keen interest in optimizing its processes over the last decade. To this end, it has employed about 500 engineers and scientists specializing in different aspects of the hydrocarbon industry.
There are two R&D entities in Saudi Aramco: 1) Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) which is solely managed by Exploration & Producing and focuses on upstream research, and 2) The Research and Development Center (R&DC), which focuses on downstream research and includes bio-research. Leading research undertaken at these two major facilities provides Saudi Aramco with competitive technology solutions throughout the vast range of its petroleum-related activities.
Saudi Aramco patents
Saudi Aramco patents:
In 2010, Saudi Aramco was granted its 100th patent.
Notable patents that Saudi Aramco holds are:
1. GigaPOWERS™ The EXPEC ARC debuted GigaPOWERS™ on 23 January 2010 to a live audience at their auditorium. GigaPOWERS™ is a second generation innovation of POWERS (Parallel Oil, Water and Gas Enhanced Reservoir Simulator) that was created in 1997 and is a high-resolution reservoir simulator to model and predict the performance of super-giant reservoirs. (See reservoir simulation for more information).GigaPOWERS™ did that job with giga-cell reservoir simulation technology, which meant that the models could hold more information and produce better reservoir simulations.
GigaPOWERS™ set a new industry record for being able to simulate reservoirs at seismic or near-seismic resolution. Previously, scientists simulated this by averaging the simulation model cells in order to reduce their number, thus reducing the amount of information in the model. However, with the innovation of GigaPOWERS™, models of more than one-billion cells were simulated. This makes it easier to study the performance and predict the behavior of oil fields, so that engineers and scientists can create better strategies when producing those fields.
Saudi Aramco provides various services to its employees, the community, government agencies and private companies which it interfaces with. It maintains several large "high-tech" hospitals and provides health insurance for its employees worldwide. It also maintains multiple fire stations, both industrial and residential, a western-style educational system, and provides employees with various recreational facilities such as golf, movie theaters, bowling alleys, multipurpose buildings and so on. Saudi Aramco introduced its Elite Security over two decades ago. This security force has been militarily trained abroad and primarily ensures the safety of the company's industrial and residential areas as well as the families of senior management officials.
Saudi Aramco has operations all over the world. It often needs to transport employees between operations. To do this, it owns and operates a fleet of 79 airplanes and 15 helicopters, and two airports in the United States (the only private organization allowed by the FAA to own and operate its own airports), as well as aviation facilities at five international airports in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco has intensive career development programs under its Career Development Department. These includes PDP (Professional Development Program) for fresh graduates and ADP (Advanced Degree Program) for Master and PhD studies. This program played a central part in transfer of jobs from expatriates to Saudi Arab nationals. To maintain relations with the Saudi Arab government, the company's Government Affairs Organization was set up. It handles nearly all correspondence between Saudi Aramco and others, performs official translations and distribution of correspondence for company action and information, and coordinates meetings between company staff, government officials, private and corporate visitors.
- Aramco Services Co. (ASC): HQ in Houston.
- Aramco Far East Business Services Co. Ltd. (ABS): HQ in Beijing.
- Aramco Overseas Co. B.V. (AOC B.V.) - HQ in The Hague.
- Aramco Associated Co. (AAC)
- Aramco Training Services Co.
- Motiva Enterprises
- Saudi Refining, Inc. (SRI)
- Aramco Financial Services Co. (AFSC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Refining Inc.
- Saudi Petroleum International Inc. (SPI) - HQ in New York.
- Bolanter Corp. N.V.
- Pandlewood Corp. N.V.
- Saudi Petroleum Overseas Ltd. - HQ in London.
- Vela International Marine Ltd.: HQ in Dubai.
The Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals Affairs sets the company's broadest policy and objectives. The council's executive management members are drawn from the Saudi Arabian government and the private sector.
- Hisham Nazer (April 1988-August 1995 as board chairman; he is the first Saudi serving in this post)
- Ali Al-Naimi (January 1984 – December 1994, as President) (November 1988 – December 1994, as CEO)
- Abdallah S. Jum'ah (January 1995 – December 2008)
- Khalid A. Al-Falih (January 2009 – )
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. Also, a CEO Dashboard complemented by an annual Environmental Report shows the exact Environmental statistics and Key Performance Indicators in terms of air and sea water pollutions.
Financial data (2011):
- Fiscal Year End: December
- Revenue: $182 billion est. (2010)
- Employees: 55,441
- Employee Growth (1 yr): 4.50%
- Oil reserves: 259.9 billion barrels (4.132×1010 m3)
- Production: 12.0 million barrels per day (1,910,000 m3/d)
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".