Two Saudi drilling rig employees guide the drilling pipe and bit down through the rotary table on the platform of their rig near Abqaiq, 1949.

Saudi Aramco geoscientists and petroleum engineers modeling a hydrocarbon reservoir in Dhahran’s 3-D Visualization Center. The 3-D models are computer-based displays of various integrated sets of data, including seismic data, well logs, core sample analyses, and reservoir simulators

Seawater rushes through the intake channel at the Qurayyah seawater treatment plant, the largest such plant in the world. From here, the treated water is pumped via pipelines to ‘Uthmaniyah where it is distributed to water-injection pump stations and injected into oil reservoirs to maintain pressure.

Aviation first started for Saudi Aramco 73 years ago in 1934, with the arrival at Jubail of a Fairchild 71 (pictured), specially equipped for aerial photography. Then in its infancy, aerial photography greatly simplified mapping of a concession area the size of Texas and Louisiana combined.

Evolving Technologies

Today, Saudi Aramco Aviation operates a fleet of 38 fixed wing and rotary aircraft (B737-700 pictured).

‘Abd al-Rahman Al-Barrak threads tape on a mainframe computer in January 1963. AlBarrak became the first Saudi employee to qualify as a computer operator in 1962. He qualifi ed as an operator of both the 4,000-unit and 16,000-unit IBM Model 1401 computers, used in processing company payrolls, financial and cost-accounting systems, personnel statistics and material supply records.

The exterior of the Research and Development Center building in Dhahran, April 2006. This state-of-the-art facility of 33,000 square meters provides laboratories, pilot plants, workshops, offices and meeting rooms for 330 professional staff members, 75% of whom are Saudi nationals. Company scientists at the R&DC have contributed nearly one-third of the company’s U.S. patents, some of which have been awarded or are pending, for new gasoline-, diesel- and naphthabased fuel formulations and associated refinery processes.

The Dynamic Analysis team examines the Rotodynamic Test System at the Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center (R&DC) in Dhahran. It was tailor made for Saudi Aramco with substantial input from the company. It is the only one of its kind in the Middle East.