Edited Highlights to Aramco History and Perspectives on Our World

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Saudi Aramco officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is a Saudi Arabian nationaloil 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 largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels and largest daily oil production. 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 m 3), [4] and it managed over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 284.8 trillioncf 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. [12]

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.. [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.

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 m 3/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). [16] 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. 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. [20]

Timeline

 

 

 

 

1938 Countess Athlone Saudi Arabia 1938 Princess Alice Countess Athlone 1950 Royal Family left front Alice, rear Mountbatten

 

 

1939 Fred Davies, King Ibn Saud

 

 

 

 

 

1 Rock Plaza Chevron Chem Moshe Dayan June 1967 Six Day War 1965-7 Manhattan

 

Hard Alkane-Cincinnati-P&G Petrochem Plants Phenol, Phenolic Acid for Paints Paraxylene for Polyester Chothing

 

 

 

 

 

Auld LangSyne

 

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon; The flames of Love extinguished, and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold, that loving Breast of thine; That thou canst never once reflect On Old long syne.

 

 

1968 Prudoe Bay North Slope Alaska 1971 North Sea United Kingdom and Norway Former USSR Fields, 2003 Production

 

1967 Chevron Europe 1970+Marc Rich PhillipBros.1980's Michael Milken Drexel 1980 London Petroleum Exchange

 

 

1989–1990 High-quality oil and gas are discovered in three areas south of Riyadh—the Raghib area about 77 miles southeast of capital.

 

 

2008 Big Oil Six replace Seven Sisters Shale Oil and Gas Basins in US Hydraulic Fractionating Schematic Powder River Basin Coal

 

 

 

Odes to World Coal, Oil, Gas, Sun, Wind Energy History and Evolution:

Coal

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine. I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine. I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal.

And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul". You load sixteen tons, what do you get: Another day older and deeper in debt.

Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store. - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Oil


There's only so much oil in the ground. Sooner or later there won't be none around.

Alternate sources of power must be found. Cause there's only so much oil in the ground.
There's only so much oil in the earth. It's a fact of life - for what it's worth. Something every little boy and girl should know since birth.
That there's only so much oil in the ground. There's no excuse for our abuse.

We just assume that we will not Exceed the oil supply. But soon enough the world will watch the wells run dry. - Tower of Power

Gas

The world's a nicer place in my beautiful balloon. It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon. We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky

For we can fly, For we can fly. Suspended under the twilight canopy, We'll search the sky for a star to guide us.
If by some chance you find yourself loving me, We'll find a cloud to hide us, keep the moon beside us. - Fifth Dimension

Solar

Sunrise , come wrap me in the warmth Of your crimson sky. I spent a long time believin’ In a dream that had passed me by.
But the moon and stars have gone. And I can see the light of dawn. Like a golden smile. Brightening up the morning sky - Eric Carmen

Wind

Round, Like a circle in a spiral, Like a wheel within a wheel, Never ending or beginning, On an ever spinning reel.
Like a snowball down a mountain, Or a carnival balloon, Like a carousel that’s turning,Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping, Past the minutes of it's face, And the world is like an apple,Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find, In the windmills of your mind ! - Anita Kerr Singers

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.

Exploration

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) [29] 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.

Drilling

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 m 3/d) (International joint and equity ventures: 2,060 Mbbl/d (328,000,000 m 3/d), domestic joint ventures: 1,108 mpbd, and wholly owned domestic operations: 995 Mbbl/d (158,200,000 m 3/d).) This figure is set to increase as more projects go online. Saudi Aramco's downstream operations are shifting emphasis to integrate refineries with petrochemical facilities. First venture is with Petro Rabigh, jv with Sumitomo Chemical Co. that began in 2005 on the coast of the Red Sea. Production began in 2009.

Petrochemicals and Plastics

Mr. McGuire : I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin : Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire : Are you listening?

Benjamin : Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire : Plastics.

Benjamin : Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire : There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

Those prophetic words of wisdom were from 'the Graduate' in 1967, when I had been marketing petrochemicals for plastics and other applications for Chevron Chemical a couple years. Even though Chevron and other Aramco partners, as well as most other large US corporations have moved on from petrochemicals into plastics long ago, Saudi Aramco still believes Mr. McGuire correct. With petrochemical based plastics and other materials increasingly a part of our clothing, homes, offices, transport and lives, perhaps he's still right.