2021 In Images
2021 in photos ... so far
Despite still feeling the impact of pandemic, 2021 has offered some significant moments and images.
We are in a world of transition.
As the impact of the pandemic continue to significantly impact the way we live, work, and interact, the pace of change is quickening as we begin to emerge into a post-COVID-19 world.
And while plenty of big news remains on the horizon, the first half of 2021 has had its own share of significant moments and events, as well as photos.
Here's a few of the images that have left an indelible mark on the year so far.
Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser took part in a ceremony to open the Mangrove Eco-Park near Ras Tanura on Jan. 11. The Eco-Park is the first facility in the Kingdom dedicated to the preservation of mangrove forests, which provide critical buffer zones between land and sea as well as breeding and nursery grounds for various marine life. The opening of the Eco-Park took place during a gathering of executives in Ras Tanura (RT) to review safety measures at RT area company facilities.
This year’s Aramco Houston Half Marathon was held virtually Jan. 8-17, with runners completing 13.1 miles in their neighborhoods as races observe physical distancing during the pandemic to keep people safe. While the footrace wasn’t held on Houston’s fast and flat course this year, Aramco stayed committed to the event and the runners, who recorded their times on a smartphone app developed for the race.
The Dammam-7 supercomputer, inaugurated in January, reinforces the company’s stance in being the industry leader in geosciences. Its unprecedented computing capabilities will benefit the company’s exploration, development and unconventional program efforts through efficiently building sophisticated and accurate subsurface models and imaging.
Making CFRPs more affordable presents an opportunity for Aramco to become a major disruptive force, enabling the company to create new markets for the competitive chemicals it produces. To achieve this goal, Aramco is building a global collaboration ecosystem to support development of new polymers and other nonmetallics.
In the field of motorsport, Formula 1 (F1) teams have long pioneered the use of carbon fiber. Saudi Aramco Technologies Company (SATC) in Dhahran is developing new technologies that will help expand production of cost-effective carbon fiber for new applications. This effort is in line with Aramco’s corporate drive to increase its nonmetallic materials business by targeting opportunities in different industrial sectors.
For the third year, some of the world’s best golfers tested their skills next to the Red Sea at the Royal Greens Golf Club at the King Abdullah Economic City in a tournament that teed off last weekend.
Aramco Americas’ collaboration with the City of Houston made possible the first new construction of a high-tech library concept, called TECHLink, in the city’s north side neighborhood of Trinity Gardens. Officially named “TECHLink Dixon,” and powered by Aramco, the company fully funded the rebuild and all the state-of-the-art technology inside as part of its comprehensive response to the Houston community after Hurricane Harvey.
Located beside the Kingdom’s first commercial oil well, Dammam 7, the center pays tribute to the Prosperity Well and will usher in a new era of idea-driven prosperity. The 5,500 m2 LAB7 innovation hub and surrounding 60,000 m2 Green Innovation Park is designed as a beacon of innovation, using advanced and novel technologies that visibly integrate innovation into every aspect of the facility’s design, construction, and operation. The building will consist of three main segments: The Engineering Exhibition and two mirrored Manufacturing Wings. The engineering structure provides an exhibition and common area fully equipped with audiovisual technology, smart glass, and collaborative spaces to inspire creativity and provide a showcasing area. In contrast, the two manufacturing wings serve as industrial manufacturing areas housing 14 individual workshops fully furnished with the latest prototyping equipment and functionality necessary to support diverse product development capabilities.
Offering a range of the services it offers to employees, a new facility called the “CS Center” has been established. Located on the ground floor of the Al-Mujamma’ building in Dhahran, it was inaugurated by the senior vice president of HR & Corporate Services, Nabeel A. Al-Jama’ on Feb. 4. The CS Center was designed and built in two months by an in-house team. It acts as a business intelligence hub and nerve center that monitors and analyzes data from the diverse range of services that CS provides. Consumer behavior, customer satisfaction, and facilities utilization are all continuously monitored.
Ghaith A. Alshaia, a geophysicist in the Geophysical Imaging Department and a passionate explorer, recently made a stunning discovery etched into the canvas of the Kingdom’s vast desert. During a trip with his father to the ancient city of Tayma, 400 km north of Medina, the pair came across a unique petroglyph on a rock. “The Hunter” carving shows a human figure holding a wide bow. The figure is dressed in a hat adorned with a long feather and an izaar, a piece of cloth which is wrapped around the lower body. Alshaia and his father noticed the petroglyph displayed sophisticated detail not seen in previous discoveries in the Kingdom.
Turn on the radio anywhere in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia and you’ll probably stumble upon the latest Billboard hits on Studio 1 FM, or an intriguing new beat on the World Music show on Studio 2 FM. Each channel provides listeners with commercial-free music around the clock and carefully curated shows designed with their audiences’ preferences in mind, broadcasting to more than 1 million listeners on a daily basis, accompanying people to work every day and providing a high-quality service for news and entertainment. Radio World Day is celebrated on Feb. 13 each year. This year, we are celebrating more than 110 years of radio and 64 years since the terrestrial launch of Aramco’s radio channels.
The Aviation Department successfully obtained five operating certificates from the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). The department, which also holds U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, operates one of the largest corporate fleets in the world, with 42 aircraft flying more than 700,000 passengers to 600 destinations in a normal operating year.
Color and creativity are rarely paired with safety in oil and gas operations, but a new Aramco publication produced by the Loss Prevention Department (LPD) has changed that. Saudi Aramco and the Art of Safety is a collection of artwork and messaging created by the company over eight decades. As a large format, hardback coffee-table book, the publication stands as a homage to safety, showcasing the company’s pioneering and extensive promotion of teaching safe working practices.
The number of endangered species across the world is increasing, and Saudi Arabia is no different. Around 33% of the Kingdom’s plant and animal species are formally listed as threatened with extinction, with perhaps 70% of the plant and animal populations decreasing. To help answer that question, Aramco ecologists developed a scientific method for ranking the conservation priority of every animal species that lives in Saudi Arabia, excluding the marine life in the oceans. Each species was scored out of 100 according to several factors, such as 1) How endangered it is; 2) How many individuals are left; 3) Whether its numbers are increasing or decreasing; 4) How much of the global population occurs in Saudi Arabia; 5) How unique it is both globally and within the Kingdom.
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown with the launch of a virtual showcase titled “COVID-19 Exhibit.” A display of mementos tied to an unexpected cultural and social reset that resonated across borders, cultures and languages, the exhibition is a collection of thoughts, memories and reflections on the pandemic experience by people from across the globe. “A year into the global health crisis, the COVID-19 Exhibit is an opportunity for the global community to reflect on this complicated and difficult time and tell our pandemic stories,” said Ithra curator and head of Ithra museum, Farah S. Abushullaih.
The company’s largest-ever remote bachelor camp came online earlier this year near Jubail. The 760,000-m2 Fadhili Bachelor Camp (FBC) accommodates more than 2,500 employees working in the Northern Area Oil and Gas Operations at Fadhili, Wasit, and Khursaniyah. The FBC was designed and constructed to meet Mowaamah requirements for accessibility. Mowaamah, run by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, is an accreditation awarded to companies that provide suitable work surroundings for people with disabilities. The camp includes 2,548 single-occupancy residential units, with 1,904 units for Grade Code 3-10; 588 for Grade Code 11-14, and 56 for Grade Code 15+. The units are laid out over 13 buildings of two and three floors, with room sizes of 27 m2, 34 m2, and 65 m2.
The Marine Department displays its techniques at an Executive Management Safety Review in the Tanajib area earlier this year. The Safety Reviews remain one of the key touchpoints between operational areas and senior management, particularly in the core value of safety.
In April, Aramco inaugurated "Roseyar,” a rose factory in al-Taif, which is one of the company’s citizenship initiatives focused on supporting small industries and empowering women. Al-Taif is known for the quality of its rose oil, which is why the company chose the area to build a skin-care products factory that will increase local production and support the community. Aramco provided the necessary support for the construction, training, maintenance and operation of the Roseyar factory to produce up to 100,000 units annually of body care products in line with international specifications and standards.
Aramco produces some of the world’s finest crude oils — Arabian Heavy, Arabian Medium, Arabian Light, Arabian Extra Light, and Arabian Super Light. For decades, Aramco’s science labs have cut precisely into the deep secrets of Arabian oils. About every six weeks, from any one of Aramco’s reservoirs, 15 liters of oil arrives at the Aramco Research and Development Center in the company’s Dhahran headquarters. Techniques such as gravity, heat, and cooling see the distiller meticulously separate the dynamic oil into various hydrocarbon products, known as fractions. Included in up to 13 cut fractions is gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and bitumen
Fai K. Aldossary, now at the end of a one-year assignment at the Ras Tanura Refinery (RTR). During her assignment, had the distinction of becoming the company’s first female foreman in an industrial facility, serving as a maintenance foreman for process control instrumentation and electrical systems. She is planned for additional assignments as an operations foreman.
Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser visits with employees in the Engineers’ Computer Room at Ras Tanura Refinery during the senior management visit of facilities. Nasser and members of senior management toured multiple facilities during the Holy Month of Ramadan to express their thanks and appreciation for employees’ hard work and sacrifice.
Nabeel Al-Jama’, center, is joined by Aali M. Al Zahrani and Yousef A. Al Ulyan in testing out the new digital ID from their smartphones. The new technology allows employees to activate, deactivate, and access security doors.
Terra, by Arcadia Earth currently being held at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture — Ithra. Terra is an art exhibit featuring installations with virtual and extended reality experiences created to reimagine environmental sustainability and how we can impact the health and future of our planet. Focusing on individual empowerment, Terra uses relatable information to illustrate how our simple actions can make each of us part of a global solution.