Global Oil Awards

Aramco research comes out strong at World Oil Awards

Five awards won is a historical record for the company at the prestigious event held in Houston.

Aramco research comes out strong at World Oil Awards

To meet Upstream’s ambitious operational and business plans, we must continuously strive for improvement and in doing so, develop innovative ways to uphold Aramco’s competitive advantage in the oil and gas industry. To this end, Aramco’s Upstream research arm, the EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), leads the company in identifying and developing technologies that continuously improve its operational and business performance. 


The company’s efforts have always been recognized by regional and international renowned organizations, of which is the prestigious World Oil Awards. The World Oil Awards has been recognizing and highlighting the industry’s leading innovators and innovations for the past two decades. This year, the nominations covered 18 award categories, encompassing the full breadth of the Upstream industry, from exploration, to drilling, completions and production, as well as digital transformation, safety, and sustainability.


On Oct. 14, Aramco and EXPEC ARC were recognized at the 20th World Oil Awards ceremony that was held in Houston, TX, in a return to the traditional in-person setting. Aramco was recognized as a winner in five categories, four of which are from EXPEC ARC, and one winner from Northern Area Oil Operations (NAOO), doubling last year’s number of awards received, and setting a new record for the company and the research organizations. The received awards cover traditional and emerging domains, highlighting the company’s efforts in the whole Upstream value chain. It also focuses on its efforts toward digital transformation and reducing its operations’ carbon footprint. 


List of Saudi Aramco’s 2021 World Oil awards
Innovative Thinker Award (Individual) — Dr. Guodong “David” Zhan
Best Digital Transformation Award — First CCUS and EOR Intelligent Field Project
Best Drilling Technology Award — “Indestructible” Drill Bit Cutter Technology
Best Health, Safety, Environment/Sustainable Development — Onshore Award — Beyond Zero Routine Flaring
Best Water Management Technology Award — Field-Scale Acoustic Oil-Water-Fines Separation for Sustainable Produced Water Management


Members of the Aramco Houston Research Center team receive the awards on behalf of Aramco during last week’s World Oil Awards ceremony in Houston. 


Aramco’s recognized individuals, technologies, and projects included Dr. Guodong “David” Zhan for the Innovative Thinker Award, the First CCUS and EOR Intelligent Field Project for the Best Digital Transformation Award, “Indestructible” Drill Bit Cutter Technology for the Best Drilling Technology Award, Beyond Zero Routine Flaring for the Best Health, Safety, Environment/Sustainable Development — Onshore Award, and the Field-Scale Acoustic Oil-Water-Fines Separation for Sustainable Produced Water Management for the Best Water Management Technology Award. The winners are an inspiration to all their peers in the industry, not only in terms of the breadth of achievements, but also through the demonstration of vision and innovative thinking.


Historical record

This historical record for Aramco and EXPEC ARC is a continuation of our outstanding and strong presence in this awards venue that has been steadily increasing for the past years. Aramco has been announced as a finalist eight and 13 times in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This year, the company had a total of 16 award finalists, 10 technologies and six professionals, surpassing all competitors in the number of finalists. Out of the total, six technologies and five professionals are from EXPEC ARC and its affiliated research centers around the globe. 


The shortlisted technologies and professionals were competing in 10 different categories against the industry’s top companies, institutes, and individuals. These categories range from an individual level such as the impressive “Innovative Thinker Award” category, to lifetime achievements as in the “Lifetime Achievement Award” category, all the way to the impact of the technology as in the “Best Digital Transformation Award” and “Best Exploration Technology Award” categories. 


Such recognitions provide assurance that we are on the right path and give motivation to proceed forward. The awards and nominations in multiple categories of the 2021 World Oil Awards reflect the ongoing dynamic march toward creating new technologies. In this year’s annual event, Aramco is honored to be considered as the industry participant with the most nominees among industry partners such as Baker Hughes, Halliburton, and Schlumberger. Aramco accounts for 16% of the 2021 World Oil Award finalists being nominated. 


Leadership in Upstream

The number of the nominations and the multiplicity is pronouncedly impressive, which shows Aramco’s efforts in competing to excel in major domains of the entire Upstream value chain. “This year’s awards further state Aramco’s leadership in Upstream technology development, where we accounted for the highest number of award finalists for a second year in a row. That speaks to the high quality of our researchers and the technologies nominated, which leads to propelling the company to achieve its strategic goals,” said Ashraf M. Al-Tahini, manager of EXPEC ARC.


The value of the company’s investment in Upstream R&D is already paying dividends in the form of recognition from industry peers. Waleed A. Al Mulhim, executive director of Petroleum Engineering and Development said, “Since its inception, the EXPEC Advanced Research Center has reaped many benefits that aided the company to achieve its strategic objectives. Being recognized by prestigious entities for our sustainability and digital transformation accomplishments is a further testimony to the efforts that has been exerted. It also provides assurance that we are moving in the right direction as our company continues to transform and grow.”


Being recognized at this well-respected international event is a testament of our commitment to continuously enhance our operational efficiency while promoting sustainability and safety. It demonstrates the company’s active approach to address global environmental challenges and reduce emissions. This would not be possible without the commitment of dedicated teams in the fields who make us proud at the highest international platforms.
— Dawood M. Al-Dawood, vice president of Aramco’s Northern Area Oil Operations


Our people are key

Aramco views these international recognitions along with our operational and technological challenges, as organizational catalysts to continuously strive for improvement and innovation. Nasir K. Al Naimi, senior vice president of Upstream, along with the rest of the leadership team, appreciate the global recognition by the industry of our people’s innovation capability. “At the heart of Aramco’s innovation, lies the company’s most valuable asset, its people who strive for innovation, and we welcome the reinforcement of this principle by our industry peers.” 


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