High-tech Abqaiq well delivers training boost

Saudi Arabian Drilling Academy’s rigless training well powers up experience for trainees.

High-tech Abqaiq well delivers training boost

The recent spudding of a high-tech well has delivered a hands-on boost to Saudi Arabia’s vocational oil and gas training.


At the premises of the Saudi Arabian Drilling Academy (SADA) in Abqaiq, a rigless training well now lies alongside the institution’s existing training rig. 


What is SADA?
SADA is a technical and academic organization established as a result of the partnership between Aramco and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, and industry collaboration.


Completed in May 2023, ABQQ-989 well was drilled to a total depth of 2,000 feet, and provides invaluable practical training for Well Service Diploma trainees. The diploma program enables participants to experience well completion, cementing, mud logging, wireline operations, well stimulation and testing, and more. 


Vocational education powering quality

SADA is a technical and academic organization established as a result of the partnership between Aramco and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), and industry collaboration. The nonprofit institution provides work-ready employees for drilling service companies and contractors. More than 30 companies participate in the academy.


Drilling and Workover senior vice president Abdul Hameed A. Al-Dughaither said immersing SADA trainees in real-world scenarios equipped them with industry skills and knowledge.


“Operating oil and gas facilities to the highest standards takes exceptional training, skills, knowledge, and teamwork,” said Al-Dughaither.


“SADA equips and qualifies Saudis with high skills enabling them to join the labor market, and compete in various jobs and fields,” he added.


SADA holds international accreditation from the U.S. Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, and was the Kingdom’s first regional training academy specialized in drilling and workover. It has graduated a total of 874 students since its 2016 opening.


Industry teamwork

A team of entities worked together to successfully deliver the ABQQ-989 well to SADA, which included the Saudi government, the TVTC, Arabian Drilling, Schlumberger, Aramco, GeCat, the SADA team, and other stakeholders. 


SADA chairman Khaled A. Al Abdulgader, said the addition of the new training well to the academy enriched participants with specialized job skills tailored for well services activities. 


Training and developing at SADA utilizes smart equipment and new technologies, aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, to prepare our young Saudi workforce for future local and international oil and gas industry opportunities.
— Khaled A. Al Abdulgader


Nayef K. Al Ghafel, SADA co-chairman, said the inauguration of the ABQQ-989 training well was testament to SADA’s unwavering dedication to continuous improvement and development. 


“The academy has become one of a kind by having both an actual rig and a rigless well, positioning SADA as a global leader in providing comprehensive and practical training,” said Al Ghafel.


SADA contributes toward the Kingdom’s Saudization program, its vision for a knowledge-based economy, and Aramco’s historical hallmark of economic and social empowerment to Saudi Arabia.


Caption for top photo: Trainees at the Saudi Arabian Drilling Academy pose during a break in their studies and hands-on work.


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