Accelerating knowledge transfer to our young workforce
Aramco’s Southern Area Well Completion Operations Department bring the theoretical and the practical together to bring young employees up to speed.
The Southern Area Well Completion Operations Department (SAWCOD) is a primary contributor to the overall Upstream value chain and performs a wide spectrum of critical rigless operations in the Southern Area gas and oil fields.
What makes SAWCOD a unique and exceptional department is the complexity of its operation caused by the nature of activities, logistics of support, and associated risks that are jointly encountered on a daily basis over a vast geographical area (450 × 350 km). These complex and combined challenges require a competent workforce and empowered personnel to execute daily activities safely and successfully.
Approximately 75% of the SAWCOD personnel — an average age of 30 years old — works in the field. Extensive effort has been utilized to develop the competency and experience of all employees from their first day of work.
Accordingly, the department has implemented Individual Development Programs for all employees, supported by 63 determined and diversified courses. In addition, SAWCOD has taken steps in the implementation of OE Process 12.7 “Knowledge Transfer” by developing a Knowledge Transfer (KT) Program (SAKT), assessing gaps of the workforce, and then work on fulfilling these gaps through close monitoring and coaching, with the help of mentors and KT representatives who conduct more than 140 sessions annually.
The SAKT program was structured unconventionally, in a way that is different from all of the previous and routine technical sessions. The SAKT has utilized all available resources and technologies, in both theoretical and practical sessions, to raise the level of participants’ engagement and accelerate their knowledge.
To add more value to the participants, they were also introduced to two soft skills sessions to strengthen their skills in innovation and Microsoft Office, which would help them feel more confident and cope up with new era requirements. The participants were assessed before and after the sessions to measure their level of understanding and effectiveness.
Virtual simulators provide hands-on training
In the theoretical part, selected experts and KT representatives within SAWCOD conducted eight sessions for the most critical wireline activities, such as setting and retrieving subsurface safety valves. Some of these subjects are supported by virtual reality (VR) simulators, which offers the opportunity to witness the operation in different fields.
“These efforts to expand the KT program for our young Saudi employees enables them to take hands-on training along with leveraging VR simulators,” Abdulmohsen A. Al-Mukhalid, general manager of SA Producing stated.
Regarding the practical part, which plays an important role in the program, the participants were introduced to a training well in the ‘Udhailiyah area. For this training, the participants practiced the learned activity by deploying the specific tools required. As the well has zero wellhead pressure and no dangerous gases, it provides a safe environment and a great opportunity for the participants to learn with.
“I am glad to see that KT is capitalizing on all available resources to advance and improve the knowledge of our young generations. The SAKT program has set the stage and helped us in our future plan of having the SAWCOD Academy with the required classrooms, simulator, and VR center,” said Nayef S. Al Shammari, then SAWCOD manager.
— By Muhammad H. Buali, Osamah E. Obaid, and Hazaa K. Enezi
Caption: Ibrahim N. Obayh discusses the types of common wireline tools with the young Saudi employees.