13th IPTC

Al-Naimi: Aramco committed to keeping pace with digital age

Company’s acting Upstream business line head speaks to future energy mix at IPTC.

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Nasir K. Al-Naimi, acting business line head of Upstream, spoke at the 13th edition of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC), a flagship energy industry technology conference taking place virtually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

During the IPTC Executive Insight interview, Al-Naimi spoke about trends in the future energy mix, articulating the fact that existing energy in the form of oil and gas will continue to play a pivotal role alongside “new energy” sources for the foreseeable future. 

“Looking at renewables,” Al-Naimi said, “solar and wind together account for only 10% of global electricity generation. And, if we look at the world’s total primary energy consumption, they are just a little over 2% of it.

“The existing and new energy will continue to run in parallel for a long time to come.”

Al-Naimi addressed current industry challenges, such as the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of addressing climate concerns. He also discussed the central role that technologies and employees play in fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.

Groundbreaking technologies

Al-Naimi added that the industry must continue to focus on reducing the carbon footprint of oil and gas and that groundbreaking technologies, innovation and collaboration between oil and gas companies and the new energy sector would ensure global energy security and reliability.

According to Al-Naimi, Aramco’s environment, social and governance efforts began around half a century ago, and pointed to the building of the Master Gas System in Saudi Arabia as an example.

Aramco’s carbon intensity during production is among the lowest in the world, he noted, alongside methane intensity — one of the lowest in the industry. 

The company has also developed strategic partnerships across various industries to develop groundbreaking technologies. Aramco is currently working with automakers to develop advanced clean fuel engines.

Aramco has actively focused on lowering carbon dioxide emissions through the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies. The company has also identified hydrogen to be transported as blue ammonia as an area of huge potential growth. 

Technology focus

“The importance of cutting-edge technology cannot be overstated,” Al-Naimi stressed.

“Technology is an integral component of our drive to develop breakthrough solutions that yield economic benefits to support a sustainable energy supply. We have created a portfolio of technological solutions that enable us to meet our customers’ needs more efficiently.”

Earlier this year, Aramco inaugurated Dammam-7, a new Upstream supercomputer with a capability of 55.4 petaflops and is considered among the top 10 supercomputers in the world.

“Our growing computing resources and a tremendous wealth of data enable an artificial intelligence ecosystem that is game changing in scope,” Al-Naimi said.  

“A breathtaking glimpse of the future can be seen at Khurais, where we have deployed some 40,000 sensors covering over 500 oil wells, becoming one of the world’s largest intelligent oil fields.”

Our people

Al-Naimi emphasized that the continued development of the company’s workforce, and the diversity of its talent would be essential to achieving even greater success in the future.

“There is no question that our people are our greatest asset. So, we work very hard to leverage our training programs within a collaborative environment to provide opportunities for our young professionals to turn the company’s vision for the future into reality,” he said.

“Aramco is working on numerous fronts to position us securely for the future.”


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