Week in Review

Week 21 in Review: Building up drill-bit manufacturer through iktva, endangered species and biodiversity, and the launch of Diversity and Inclusion Corner.

Courtesy of a $7.2 billion investment, SLB has upgraded and expanded the Dammam Bits Production Unit of its Middle East Center of Reliability and Efficiency.

Week 21 in Review: Building up drill-bit manufacturer through iktva, endangered species and biodiversity, and the launch of Diversity and Inclusion Corner.

An iktva success story leads this week’s top stories, with SLB announcing the opening of a new full-cycle drill manufacturing plant in Gamma.


Here is that story and several others from the week that was.


Full-cycle drill-bit manufacturing comes to Dammam 

On May 9, SLB announced the opening of a new 3,700 m2 full-cycle drill manufacturing plant in Dammam as part of the company’s commitment to Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) program. 


The inauguration of the new plant, which was attended by Aramco’s executive vice president of Upstream, Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and other members of management, marks the culmination of these efforts.


“To witness the end-to-end manufacturing of advanced drill bits in our own back yard shows the continuing success of Aramco’s iktva program in de-risking our supply chains and energizing a homegrown industrial base,” said Al-Naimi. “In today’s environment, nearshoring and keeping supply chains close at hand count for a lot.”


Courtesy of a $7.2 million investment, SLB has now upgraded and expanded the Dammam Bits Production Unit of its “Middle East Center of Reliability and Efficiency (MCRE)” facility to encompass end-to-end manufacturing of Matrix PDC, Steel PDC, ands Casing-while-Drilling Bits, which happen to be among the most utilized drill bits in drilling operations in the Kingdom. 


For the first time, these will be entirely produced domestically – from graphite powder all the way up the value chain to final product. Moreover, the ultimate vision and ambition going forward will be to additionally source locally even the raw material.


As an initiative, this upgrade aligns closely with ongoing localization efforts that are enabling Saudi Arabia to switch from being an importer of technologies to a home-grown value creator and exporter. Indeed, a skilled and highly motivated Saudi team will henceforth enable the manufacturing of drills that will be deployed not just within Saudi Arabia, but also across the entire Middle East and North Africa region, and potentially beyond.


How do we help endangered species?

Aramco joined others on May19 to observe Endangered Species Day to help raise awareness about the importance of protecting threatened and endangered species, while also celebrating successful conservation efforts to preserve them.


Despite being on one the world’s great “flyways” (migration routes) and the rich coastal waters of the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf supporting diverse coral reef and sea grass ecosystems,the Kingdom is not immune to the global biodiversity crisis.


According to the IUCN, 147 species in Saudi Arabia are near threatened, 113 are vulnerable, 40 are endangered, 16 are critically endangered, three are regionally extinct (Asiatic Wild Ass  Equus  hemionus,  Cheetah Acinonyx  jubatus,  and  Lion  Panthera  leo),  one  (the Arabian Oryx Oryx  leucoryx)  was extinct  in  the  wild (but has since been reintroduced),  and  one  (the  regionally endemic Saudi Gazelle Gazella saudiya) is globally extinct.


To combat this, Aramco has worked hard to help these species by introducing the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary, the Sea Turtle rescue center in Ras Tanura, and its network of biodiversity protection areas throughout the Kingdom.


From agreement to action — building back biodiversity

An impressive array of biodiversity exists within Saudi Arabia, including more than 2,400 plant species, 1,230 marine fish species, 499 bird species, 266 coral species, 117 mammals, 107 reptiles, eight amphibians, eight freshwater fish, and numerous invertebrates. 


Despite the incredible diversity of plant and animal life, biodiversity loss and the destabilization of ecosystems is a major concern globally that threatens the survival of 1 million species and the lives of billions of people. 


The most effective way to conserve biodiversity is to avoid impacting high-quality habitat, and biodiversity protection is at the core of Aramco’s sustainability framework. As per our new Corporate Biodiversity Protection Policy, we avoid the highest value habitat in the Kingdom by not operating in designated world heritage sites, strict nature reserves, or wilderness areas. 


Furthermore, Aramco works to ensure its operations result in no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystems services in national parks, important bird and biodiversity areas, important plant areas, and Aramco biodiversity protection areas (BPAs).


We have also committed to reduce our operations environmental footprint and to create a legacy of projects that improve both natural habitats and shared resources.


Aramcon praises positive impact the company is having on his small home town in Spain

Alberto Lozano Ballesteros can barely contain his joy when he starts speaking about his home town — a small Spanish village that sits just 80 miles to the southeast of Madrid.


The village has, however, had its struggles in the past with people often flocking to the capital or nearby Valencia for better jobs and opportunities.


Now, thanks to a multimillion Euro project — which Aramco is a co-supporter of — Montalbo and the region as a whole has a new lease of life.


Led by the Global Nature Foundation, the Laguna de El Hito Nature Reserve in the Cuenca Province is currently undergoing significant restoration and conservation work.


The area, which is located in the villages of Montalbo and El Hito, is considered a wetland of international importance with thousands of crane birds visiting the lagoon every year. It is also an especially important site for certain types of plants, insects, and steppe birds — with the recovery of their habitats among the key objectives.


The project’s other goals include: 

  • Increasing the area of the reserve through the purchase of more than 500 hectares of land
  • Helping protect the biodiversity in the region
  • Establishing the site as a tourist destination by building two bird observatories and improving local roads and paths.


Welcome to Diversity and Inclusion Corner

Majed S. AlOtaibi shares his remarkable story of rehabilitation and perseverance.


It begins with a tragic car accident where the Aramcon lost both legs. It continues today with a strong sense of honor and dedication to his instructor role with the company working in the Traffic Safety Services Division’s Special Services Unit in Riyadh.


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