Capturing opportunity, driving success

New Upstream and Downstream operating model drives continued and future success

Improvements prepare us for ambitious growth targets while maintaining the same unwavering focus on safety and reliability.

New Upstream and Downstream operating model drives continued and future success

Empowering Aramco’s greatest asset, its people, sits at the heart of Aramco’s ongoing continuous improvement journey. An update related to the recently introduced changes in Aramco’s operating model was shared at two town hall meetings held by the Upstream and Downstream presidents for directors and above in their respective business lines. 

Nasir K. Al-Naimi, Upstream president, set the scene for the latest changes that will alter Aramco’s growth trajectory and future success.


For Aramco, maintaining our position as the world leader in integrated energy and chemicals requires us to keep pace and transform our business … while maximizing long-term value to our shareholders, (and) providing more energy in the most responsible and sustainable way possible.
— Nassir K. Al-Naimi


“Upstream has a pivotal role in preserving our key competitive advantages by keeping our production costs low and efficient,” Al-Naimi added.  “The changes we have made allow us to broaden our horizons, reshape the leadership pyramid, and empower our organization to achieve its ambitious growth targets in a smarter, safer, cleaner, greener, and more cost-effective way.”


Unprecedented levels

Upstream has a determined goal of increasing its maximum sustainable capacity by 1 million barrels per day by 2027, and doubling gas production by the end of the decade — effectively increasing the number of rigs to unprecedented levels and raising the Upstream workforce to over 30,000. 


This has given rise to the need for a redesigned operating model that will enable the new phase of change and accelerate its ability to grasp all opportunities and pivot quickly in a highly complex global energy transition.

Ambitious growth targets

Downstream president Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani highlighted the importance of Downstream in Aramco’s growth strategy.


Downstream is a dynamic and expanding business with many opportunities to be captured. Therefore, the realignment of our operating model through the transformation will allow us to grasp the full potential of all hydrocarbon streams, while strengthening our decision making, and driving value to the business with enhanced focus on our commerciality.
— Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani


“As the company looks to meet its ambitious 4 million barrels per day Liquid to Chemicals program by 2030, we have expanded our business through investment in affiliates across the globe in different sectors. We are also increasing our footprint in retail and lubricants through our many service stations and brand partnerships, both in-Kingdom and internationally. The two dedicated strategic business units have been established to ensure that we can meet the ambitious growth targets, while maintaining the same unwavering focus on safety and reliability that we are known for,” Al Qahtani added.


The Downstream growth strategy is truly global, focusing not only on growing the portfolio to further maximize shareholders’ value, but also on optimizing the business across the value chain — leveraging the breadth and depth of Aramco’s global refining system and global trading arm to continue to create value and achieve operational excellence.


Fundamentally, a new way of working is required to capture the many opportunities that can come from greater integration and synergy.


Jointly hosting the town halls, Tom Palmer, vice president of Executive Development and Compensation, noted, “Our goal is to make Aramco a global company headquartered in Saudi Arabia.”


More opportunities for our people

As Aramco continues its journey of expansion in both its business and its geographies, this program also launches a new journey for thousands of employees across Aramco. 


Hundreds of new leadership and professional roles will be created; many departments and divisions that currently sit in corporate will have the opportunity to migrate employees into embedded functions in the business lines, opening many new roles. In addition, leaders and professionals will be empowered with enhanced decision making along with increased accountability.


Affiliates and joint ventures will also be better able to leverage the benefits that come from a “one Aramco” model, through closer alignment, which will include a “one global talent” model.


A multi-year program

From establishing regional models in Downstream with regional heads for Americas, EMEA, and Asia; rewiring core processes and systems to enable increased empowerment and accountability; through to reshaping the leadership pyramid to create greater leadership capacity, the enhanced operating model will be strategically implemented over 2023 and 2024, and will be enhanced over the following years.


Between Upstream and Downstream, there are more than 50,000 employees. With such an ambitious and far-reaching program, all of Aramco and its employees will reap benefits over the years and decades to come. 


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