This Day in History

This Day in History (1952): Dhahran stabilizer is 'All things to all men'

Each time a fresh water faucet is turned on in Dhahran, out spills part of the 3,600 gallons of water distilled each hour at the stabilizer.

This Day in History (1952): Dhahran stabilizer is 'All things to all men'

From the Feb. 13, 1952, edition of the Sun and Flare

School students of the future may raise their eyebrows to learn that two repelling forces led to the founding of Dhahran upon Saudi Arabia's gleaming, shifting sands. But to residents of Dhahran, this phenomenon is taken for granted. Our proximity to such a unique occurrence inevitably minimizes its oddity.


Yes, water and oil together, prodded by 20th century technocracy, have combined to lay the ground work for the growing, progressive community that is Dhahran today.


Perhaps more cognizant of this than most are those closely associated with the stabilizer plant at Dhahran, which simultaneously stabilizes approximately 180,000 barrels of crude daily and produces all the distilled water used at Dhahran.


Plant Foreman David Swindig, who has been at the stabilizer’s operating helm for more than eight years, is justifiably proud of the role that his crew and plant have played in the growing Aramco kingdom of oil.


Each time a fresh water faucet is turned on in Dhahran, out spills part of the 3,600 gallons of water distilled each hour at the stabilizer and of the 350 to 400 gallons of soft water produced each minute by the seolite treaters.


But that is merely in addition to the stabilizer's principal objective. A major phase of the plant's operation is the moving of more than 300,000 barrels of stabilized crude to Bahrain and Ras Tanura each day. During the summer months, about 131,000 barrels pare moved to Bahrain, while 122,000 are moved in winter.


Instead of flaring gas, it is channeled into the gas turbine as power. Between 17 million and 18 million cubic feet daily are available.


Still another product produced at the stabilizer is a steam used for cleaning equipment in Dhahran. The steam is moved through an 8-inch line carrying a pressure of 200 pounds. Power is furnished by seven huge water tube boilers.


Handling crude from Abqaiq and Dammam, the stabilizer plant utilizes an adequate storage supply, which includes tanks ranging in capacity from 55,000 barrels to 185,000 barrels. The storage capacity is approximately 1.2 million barrels.


Caption for top photo: Don Kliewer, international editor, "World Oil," talks to Aramco's Dave Swindig at the Dhahran Stabilizer.


Also on this date

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2012 The European Space Agency conducts the first launch of the European "Vega" rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana


2008 Australian Prime Minster Kevin Rudd makes a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations


2001 An earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale strikes El Salvador, killing at least 944 people


1990 An agreement is reach on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany


1981 A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky


1961 An allegedly 500,000-year-old rock discovered in California appears to encase a spark plug


1960 With the success of a nuclear test called "Gerboise Bleue," France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons


1633 Galileo Gallei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition


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