Rising with new sources of resilience, we cast our eyes to the future
Despite its historic challenges, Aramcons stride forward with achievements.
Many may say that 2020 is a year better forgotten than celebrated, but one of the most difficult years in recent memory also helped bring out the best in people.
With a good part of the year significantly in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may have seemed the year was crawling along. In actuality, the year had a number of major milestones and successes to be celebrated.
Here’s a brief look at the past year.
Aramco operations continued reliable delivery of energy around the world, despite the many challenges that faced the company this year, which included continuing its operational activities throughout the pandemic.
Through completing the acquisition of a 70% stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund, Aramco has not only enhanced its presence in the petrochemicals industry, but it will also help in creating value from the integration across the hydrocarbon chain.
The acquisition, with a purchase price of SR259.125 billion ($69.1 billion), strives to position Aramco into one of the major global petrochemical players, fortifying the company’s long-term downstream strategy designed to grow its integrated refining and petrochemicals capacity.
Executive of the year
Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser was named the Energy Intelligence’s Energy Executive of the Year for 2020 by a selection committee of global energy industry executives. He received the peer-selected award, and delivered a speech at the inaugural Energy Intelligence Forum 2020, held virtually in October.
Nasser emphasized that the award is a demonstration of Aramco’s culture of teamwork and is the result of hard work in meeting myriad challenges facing the industry, which includes climate change and opportunities to reduce emissions, meeting global energy needs during a pandemic, and fueling the growth that brings prosperity.
Nasser has also received The Chemists’ Club Kavaler Award, sponsored by Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) on Dec. 3. The award recognizes Aramco’s achievements in the chemical industry at large, voted by Nasser’s peers in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players — a global ranking of leaders making the greatest positive impact on their companies and the industry.
He highlighted that the award was granted due to the great determination of the men and women of Aramco, showing their resilience in this challenging year. Nasser has also emphasized that the progress achieved “is just the beginning of a major transformation positioning Aramco for the future.”
The iktva annual forum and exhibition took place on Feb. 25 and 26 with a total of 1,000 participating companies and 200 exhibitors. The program, now in its sixth year, represents a sustained and systematic effort by Aramco, and has made further progress into its localization efforts, where iktva is well on track to achieve 70% localization of the company’s supply chain.
Through iktva, Aramco is able to further leverage its competitive advantage of low-cost production and high reliability through employing its world-class supply chain. The program plays a significant role in achieving the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and aids in creating a sustainable business ecosystem, along with the creation of new opportunities for young Saudis.
With the presence of the virus near the beginning of the year, the implications of COVID-19 had an enormous global impact on diverse sectors. The virus was first identified in Dec. 2019 in Wuhan, China, however, the first case recorded in Saudi Arabia was in early March 2020. A series of lockdowns and numerous restrictive measures later, the infection rate has declined, and the recovery rate has continued to rise within the Kingdom.
As a result of the pandemic, many preventative measures were put in place by the company to ensure people are safe and well, at work, home, and in the community. In line with the government’s instructions, many Aramco employees were working from home, and were provided with the essential devices and tools to enable them to continue to work seamlessly from home.
The company proved to continue its success by enabling various digital solutions to help ease work and operations across its organizations while still maintaining as little physical interaction as possible. Upon the return of employees to the office, Aramco adopted additional preemptive measures to ensure the safety of its workers.
Aramco was an exclusive host to the 12th edition of International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC). The three-day event, which took place on Jan. 13-15, was the first multidisciplinary international conference and exhibition for oil and gas ever held in the Kingdom, gathering more than 17,000 participants taking part of the event.
Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser emphasized the importance of technology as a key instrument to address future challenges facing the oil and gas industry. He also highlighted the opportunity IPTC provides for Aramco and others in the energy industry to showcase and share their innovations and emerging technologies that help meet the world’s most pressing challenges.
F1 and engines
In 2020, Aramco became an official global partner of Formula 1. Their common interest in cutting-edge automotive technologies strengthened their commitment to driving more efficient engines and cleaner fuel solutions for a sustainable future.
The partnership further promotes the company, bringing in additional brand awareness, exposure, and visibility around the globe. However, this commitment is also indicative of both Aramco and F1 goals of finding innovative solutions to address the global emissions challenge, as well as pushing the boundaries of vehicle efficiency and carbon reduction further.
Aramco has continued to push its boundaries in innovative solutions throughout its operations. 2020 witnessed a drive in the development and deployment of nonmetallic solutions within the company’s operational scope. Aramco has enhanced its position to further support its nonmetallic strategy, highlighting the importance of integrating nonmetallics as a major solution for the company’s future growth.
Aramco had another year of fruitful milestones designed to further the company’s biodiversity goals. One of the most prominent achievements was the successful planting of 2 million mangroves earlier this summer, bringing the total of mangroves restored along the Arabian coastline to 4.3 million.
The initiative, undertaken by Environmental Protection, in collaboration with Northern Area Oil Operations, is an ongoing commitment toward providing climate solutions, as these plantings form a natural sink for carbon dioxide (CO2).
Mangroves are a resilient species, as they are able to survive extreme water temperature variation, dissolved oxygen, and high salinity, in addition to their extraordinary ability to sequester CO2 quickly from the atmosphere.