Celebrating 70 years: The evolution of Aramco Overseas Company
Aramco Europe adapts to changing times and a changing energy industry.
The Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) – Aramco Europe — has marked the 70th anniversary of operating from the Netherlands, where its headquarters are based.
The affiliate helps serve the Aramco enterprise in Europe and beyond. Its work in support of the global business has evolved over the years, which has led to it being recognized as a fully fledged services company.
A changing oil and gas landscape has led to the evolution of Aramco as a whole — now a world leader in energy and chemicals — and AOC, like other affiliates, has also had to adapt.
A history of AOC
In the company’s early years during the 1950s, staff were working on key projects and devising plans for the Kingdom’s oil operations. It began as a specialist provider of engineering and procurement services, but has since gone on to be considered a center of excellence across different functions.
Officially registered in The Hague in 1952, the business moved in 1955 to a new building on Laan van Meerdervoort — a space more befitting the role of company headquarters. From here, it oversaw offices in Beirut, Cairo, London, Rome, Sydney, South Korea, and Singapore, while also delivering key support to operational requirements in the Kingdom.
Today, the business branches across a different set of locations — Aberdeen, Delft (Netherlands), Paris, Milan, and Kuala Lumpur — as well as having a presence in London. However, The Hague still remains central to all of these offices.
These offices all offer expertise through dedicated teams brimming with knowledge, including:
- Supply Chain and Quality Management: Where personnel have taken their mandate to new locations when sourcing best-in-class materials and services
- Staffing Services: Continues to deliver strong expatriate hires who can help advance in-Kingdom operations even further
- Professional Development: Ensures sponsored students are in the very best position to join Aramco once they have qualified
- Technical Services: Includes research conducted across the value chain in traditional areas like oil exploration, through to newer ventures such as fuel technology.
Such a broad spectrum of activities has meant that departments such as Information Technology, Human Resources, Corporate Communications, and Finance have also evolved and upgraded, allowing for the business to run optimally.
Aramco also has key joint ventures such as Team Terminal, Showa Shell, and PRefChem, which is supported by the company’s subsidiary in Malaysia.
Major acquisitions on behalf of the global enterprise are the result of significant contributions by people at AOC, including the global downstream expansion through investments with PKN ORLEN in Poland, and the announced purchase of Valvoline Global Products.
AOC has also made donations to communities in Europe, among other locations, and supported numerous good causes as part of the global citizenship program. Employees have given their valuable time, highlighting their dedication toward social responsibility.
Donations have gone to a variety of organizations, including those in academia, medical care, education, conservation, and social mobility. An emphasis has always been placed on assisting those who reside within the company’s areas of operation, with charities in the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, and most recently Malaysia, alongside the Netherlands, all receiving support.
Positioning itself as a center of excellence and also now a treasury, AOC continues to work with global headquarters and assess ways to add even more value.
Caption for top photo: The first Aramco Overseas Company ‘office’ (single room) in the Netherlands, former Hotel Wittebrug — The Hague, 1952.