Memory Lane: Homes program begins, computers called in for logistics, and Jazan Project gets the green light
After a year of study, Aramco launched its program to assist Saudis in buying and building homes in 1952.
Here are a few of the top headlines over the past seven decades.
Oct. 22, 1952
LOAN PLAN HELPS SAUDI EMPLOYEES TO OBTAIN THEIR OWN HOMES
Building is no news in al-Hasa, but during the past year, the rate of construction has tremendously accelerated.
Homes, as well as new business houses, are springing up everywhere in the vicinity of company operations. During recent months a number of company employees have joined the construction procession have contributed materially to the design and quality of homes through the use of house plans and building materials recommended by the Arab Industrial Development Division and the Community Development Division.
Knowing that a normal life is essential to the well-being of its employees, the company has embarked upon a program of assistance to them in owning their own homes. This assistance takes the form of extending non-interest-bearing loans to those Saudi employees who have demonstrated their ability as workmen and who are in salary Grade 6 or above.
For the past year, this program has been in an experimental stage, during which its details were studied and revised on that basis of experience. That period is now over and formal policy for the housing plan is ready.
Oct. 18, 1967
RT PORT PLANNING IS COMPUTERIZED
The Ras Tanura Port is shipping increasing amounts of crude and products. The size and capacity of oil tankers continue to grow. Tankers calling at the port often must wait for pier space and tug service. Offshore oil fields are likely to become proportionally more important in Aramco’s total production picture.
Aramco management anticipates that some big decisions must be made regarding the company’s overall shipping and storage facilities, and has called on the computer to help it sort out the most economically attractive of many solutions presently offering themselves.
The computer can create representations of existing situations expressed in a form suitable for study, add variations to denote additions and changes being considered, and run a series of tests on the models with all the new factors taken into account. This is what is being done at Aramco on the IBM 7044 computer by adapting a series of programs — IBM’s “General Purpose Simulator Program” — to represent actual and projected conditions under various alternatives at the terminal.
Oct. 20, 1982
RARE OCTOBER RAIN SETS RECORDS
The spate of drizzles and downpours that occurred in the Eastern Province on Oct. 11 and 12 were hardly the heaviest on record, or even the longest lasting — but they were among the most unusual.
As Aramcom old-timers were quick to note, their coming marked the first time in Aramco meteorological history that rain fell in Dhahran or Abqaiq in October, through barely there sun showers have been recorded in July and August.
“To be perfectly accurate, just a trace (less than .01 inch) fell in Dhahran on Oct. 31, 1951,” said Shaik Mahmood, now of Materials Standardization, but for many years with the Environmental Unit.
The rain that fell Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 11 and 12, was far more than a trace, however. According to Aramco’s Environmental Unit, a total of .7 inches fell in roughly an hour in Abqaiq on Monday evening, while in Dhahran, .03 inches fell the same evening, followed by another .09 inches the following afternoon.
Traces were also reported those days in Ras Tanura and Safaniyah, and residents of ‘Udhailiyah report that a fairly heavy rain fell on Monday evening, though no official recording was made.
Oct. 22, 1997
ALL STARS WIN 1997 EUROPEAN LITTLE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Saudi All Stars won their fourth straight European Little League Championship this summer. The team is composed of all stars from the Arabian American Little League, which operates a Spring Little League composed of teams from Dhahran, Ras Tanura, Abqaiq, and Khobar.
The All Stars breezed through the round-robin, winning all five games by a combined score of 80-3. They next defeated Poland 17-0 in the semi-final, and went on to face Germany in the championship game 7-3.
The All Stars went on to play in the Little League World Series for the 10th time in the past 14 years, defeating Canada and losing to Mexico and Japan.
Oct. 24, 2012
BOARD MEETS, TOURS NORTHERN AREA
During its weekly communications call, Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih updated company personnel on the Oct. 17 meeting of the company’s Board of Directors and its associated tour of the Northern Area led by HE Ali I. Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of the Board of Directors.
The tour included the Karan gas field, gas production facilities at Khursaniyah, Manifa, Wasit, and the company’s headquarters at Dhahran.
Probably the highlight of next year’s program is funding the Jazan Refinery.
— Khalid A. Al-Falih
“This is truly of significance because we will be opening a new development area that has not been touched with much industry, the Southwest. Saudi Aramco’s presence will be very significant for the future of the Southwest region,” Al-Falih added.