Saudi Aramco

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Saudi Arabian Oil Company
Type State-owned enterprise
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 1933 (as California-Arabian Standard Oil Co.)
1944 (as Aramco)
1988 (as Saudi Aramco)
Headquarters Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Area served Worldwide
Key people Khalid A. Al-Falih[1]
(President & CEO)
Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi[2]
(Minister of Petroleum
and Mineral resources)
Products Petroleum, natural gas and other petrochemicals
Revenue Increase US$ 311 billion (2012)[3]
Owners Saudi Arabian government
Employees 57,283 (2013)[4]
Website www.saudiaramco.com
Saudi Aramco headquarters complex

Saudi Aramco (Arabic: أرامكو السعوديةʾArāmkō 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.[5][6] 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.[7][8][9]

Saudi Aramco has both the world's largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels (4.1×1010 m3),[4] and largest daily oil production.[10] Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia,[11] 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),[4] and it manages over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas reserves.[4] Saudi Aramco operates the Ghawar Field, the world's largest onshore oil field, and the Safaniya Field, the world's largest offshore oil field.[12]

History[edit]

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.[13]

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..[14] 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.[15]

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).[16]

In 1950, King Abdulaziz threatened to nationalize his country's oil facilities, thus pressuring Aramco to agree to share profits 50/50.[17] 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,[18] by acquiring a 100% percent stake in the company. Aramco partners continued to operate and manage Saudi Arabia's oil fields.[19] In November 1988, a royal decree changed its name from Arabian American Oil Co. to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (or Saudi Aramco)[18] 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.[20]

Operation[edit]

Headquarters of Aramco Services Co. in Houston

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.[21]

Environmental record[edit]

The company has an "Environmental Master Plan" to reduce the emissions provided by Capital Programs, some of which has already been completed.[citation needed] Saudi Aramco is a leading company in the region in reducing sulfur emissions, CO2, and flaring.[citation needed]

Cyber attack[edit]

Aramco computers were attacked by a virus on 15 August 2012.[22][23] 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.[24] Hackers claimed responsibility for the spread of the computer virus.[25] The virus hit companies within the oil and energy sectors.[26][27] 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.[22] The group later indicated that the Shamoon virus had been used in the attack.[28] Due to this attack, the main site of Aramco went down and a message came to the home page apologizing to customers.[29] 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."[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Leadership". Saudi Aramco. 
  2. ^ "Saudi Aramco - 75 years". 
  3. ^ Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Company Profile
  4. ^ a b c d Saudi Aramco Facts & Figures 2013
  5. ^ The Report: Saudi Arabia 2009. Oxford Business Group. 2009. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-907065-08-8. 
  6. ^ "Our company. At a glance". Saudi Aramco. "The Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." 
  7. ^ "Big Oil, bigger oil". Financial Times. 4 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Texas Enterprise - What's the Value of Saudi Aramco? by Sheridan Titman". 9 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Helman, Christopher (9 July 2010). "The World's Biggest Oil Companies". Forbes. 
  10. ^ SteelGuru - News
  11. ^ "Contact Us." Saudi Aramco. Retrieved on 5 November 2009. "Headquarters: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Address: Saudi Aramco P.O. Box 5000 Dhahran 31311 Saudi Arabia"
  12. ^ Aramco Overseas Company - About Saudi Aramco
  13. ^ Owen, E.W. (1975). Trek of the Oil Finders: A History of Exploration for Petroleum. Tulsa: AAPG. pp. 1290–3. 
  14. ^ Yergin, Daniel (2008). The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 265–74. ISBN 978-1439110126. 
  15. ^ "Oil Company Histories". Virginia University. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Saudi Arabian Oil Company History from Fundinguniverse.com". Funding Universe. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "From Arab Nationalism to OPEC: Eisenhower, King Saʻūd, and the making of U.S-Saudi relations", Nathan J. Citino (Indian University Press, 2002), retrieved 28 February 2012 
  18. ^ a b "Timeline". Saudi Embassy. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  19. ^ "A Brief History Of Major Oil Companies In The Gulf Region With Corporate Contact Information, Compiled By Eric V. Thompson, Petroleum Archives Project Arabian Peninsula & Gulf Studies Program, University of Virginia". University of Virginia. 
  20. ^ "Financial Times Non-public Top 150". The Financial Times. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Saudi Arabia". Revenue Watch Institution. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Perlroth, Nicole (24 October 2012). "Cyberattack On Saudi Firm Disquiets U.S.". New York Times. pp. A1. 
  23. ^ "Saudi Aramco says virus shuts down its computer network". 15 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "Aramco Says Virus Attacks Network, Oil Output Unaffected". 16 August 2012. 
  25. ^ Arthur, Charles (16 August 2012). "Saudi Aramco hit by computer virus". The Guardian. 
  26. ^ "Shamoon virus attacks Saudi oil company". Digital Journal. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Shamoon virus targets energy sector infrastructure". BBC News. 16 August 2012. 
  28. ^ "Virus knocks out computers at Qatari gas firm RasGas". CNET. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  29. ^ "Some Signs Point to Shamoon as Malware in Aramco Attack". Threat Post. 16 August 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Vitalis, Robert (2006). America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-5446-2. 

External links[edit]