Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) is one of the largest oil companies in the world, and the largest in terms of proven crude oil reserves and production. Located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, this company controls the world's largest oil reserve.
Saudi Aramco's history dates back to May 29 1933, when the government of Saudi Arabia signed a concessionary agreement with Standard Oil of California (Socal) allowing them to explore Saudi Arabia for oil. Standard Oil of California passed this concession to an affiliate called California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. (Casoc). In 1936 with the company having no success at locating oil, the Texas Oil Company purchased a fifty percent stake of the concession.
After a long search for oil that lasted around four years without success, the first accomplishment they had was in Dhahran in 1938, a well referred to as Dammam number 7. The discovery of this well gave the company the hope to continue and flourish. The company name was changed in 1944 from California-Arabian Standard Oil Company to Arabian American Oil Company (or Aramco). In 1948 Standard Oil of California and the Texas Oil Company were joined as investors by Standard Oil of New Jersey who purchased 30% of the company, and Socony Vacuum who purchased 10% of the company, leaving Standard Oil of California and the Texas Oil Company with equal 30% shares.
In 1973 the Saudi Arabian government acquired a 25% share of Aramco, increased this to 60% by 1974 and finally acquired full control of Amarco by 1980. In November 1988 the company changed its name from Arabian American Oil Company to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (or Saudi Aramco).
- 1932 Oil is discovered in Bahrain. Socal begins a year-long series of negotiations with the Saudi government.
- 1933 Saudi Arabia grants oil concession to California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc), affiliate of Standard Oil of California (Socal, today's Chevron). Oil prospecting begins on Kingdom's east coast.
- 1936 Texas Company (now Texaco) acquires 50 percent interest in Socal's concession. The joint venture became known as the California Texas Oil Company, or Caltex.
- 1938 Kingdom's first commercial oil field discovered at Dhahran. Crude is exported by barge to Bahrain.
- 1939 First tanker load of petroleum is exported. (Socalís D.G. Scofield)
- 1944 Casoc changes its name to Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco).
- 1945 Ras Tanura Refinery begins operations (eventually becomes the largest oil-refinery in the world).
- 1948 Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) and Socony-Vacuum Oil (now Mobil) join Socal and Texaco as owners of Aramco.
- 1950 1,700-km Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (Tapline) is completed, linking Eastern Province oil fields to Lebanon and the Mediterranean.
- 1956 Aramco confirms scale of Ghawar and Safaniya, world's largest oil field and largest offshore field, respectively.
- 1961 Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - propane and butane - is first processed at Ras Tanura and shipped to customers.
- 1966 Tankers begin calling at "Sea Island", new offshore crude oil loading platform off Ras Tanura.
- 1973 Saudi Government acquires 25 percent interest in Aramco.
- 1975 Master Gas System project is launched.
- 1980 Saudi Government acquires 100 percent participation interest in Aramco, purchasing almost all of the company's assets.
- 1981 East-West Pipelines, built for Aramco natural gas liquids and crude oil, link Eastern Province fields with Yanbu on the Red Sea.
- 1982 Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC) opens in Dhahran, a milestone in "Saudizing" the company's operations; till 1982, all exploration and engineering operations were administered in Houston, Texas.
- 1984 Company acquires its first four supertankers.
- 1987 East-West Crude Oil Pipeline expansion project is completed, boosting capacity to 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
- 1988 Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Saudi Aramco, is established.
- 1989 High-quality oil and gas are discovered south of Riyadh - the first find outside original operating area.
- 1991 Company plays major role combating Gulf oil spill, the world's largest.
- 1992 East-West Crude Oil Pipeline capacity is boosted to 5 million bpd. Saudi Aramco affiliate purchases 35 percent interest in SsangYong Oil Refining Company of the Republic of Korea.
- 1993 Saudi Aramco takes charge of Kingdom's domestic refining, marketing, distribution and joint-venture refining interests.
- 1994 Maximum sustained crude-oil production capacity is returned to 10 million bpd. Company acquires a 40 percent equity interest in Petron, largest refiner in the Philippines.
- 1995 Company completes a program to build 15 very large crude carriers. Saudi Aramco President and CEO Ali I. Al-Naimi is named the Kingdom's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and Chairman of Saudi Aramco. Abdallah S. Jum'ah is named the CEO, President, and Director of Saudi Aramco.
From its global headquarters in Dhahran on the eastern shores of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Aramco manages virtually all of Saudi Arabia's enormous hydrocarbon enterprise. From the giant Ghawar and Safaniya oil fields, the world's largest onshore and offshore fields, to the leading-edge technology at the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center, and from one of the largest and most modern fleets of supertankers to refining and marketing joint ventures around the globe, Saudi Aramco is solidly positioned to continue to play its vital role in meeting the world's demand for energy. Saudi Aramco is responsible for 99 percent of the Kingdom's proved crude oil reserves of 259.2 billion barrels -- about a quarter of the world's total. That is more than double the total of Iraq, the country with the world's second largest reserves, and nearly 12 times the reserves of the United States. Saudi Aramco produces and exports more crude oil than any other company. Recent production has averaged some 8 million barrels per day (bpd). That is more than twice the output of the next highest producer and nearly five times greater than the largest U.S. oil company.
Saudi Aramco maintains a maximum sustained crude production capacity of ten million bpd. Saudi Aramco ranks among the top ten companies in gas production worldwide. The company is also a leader in both the production and export of natural gas liquids (NGL), and a major producer of refined products. The company produces natural gas in association with crude oil and nonassociated gas from deep, independent gas fields. This gas is used as fuel and feedstock for the Kingdom's backbone industries and utilities, and for export and domestic consumption as NGL. A vigorous programme is currently under way to expand gas production and processing capabilities to meet increasing demand for gas at home to power the Kingdom's robust domestic economic growth.
See: Qatif Project for more information about the most recent mega project of the company.
- Aramco Services Company (ASC): Headquarters in Houston, Texas. This company used to be the mother company of Aramco before it was bought by the Saudi government. Now it supervises the company operations (except sales) outside Saudi Arabia.
- Aramco Overseas Company B.V. (AOC B.V.)
- Aramco Associated Company (AAC)
- Saudi Refining, Inc. (SRI)
- Saudi Petroleum International, Inc. (SPI)
- Bolanter Corporation N.V.
- Pandlewood Corporation N.V.
- Saudi Petroleum Overseas Ltd.
- Vela International Marine Ltd.: H.Q. in Dhahran. This company is completely owned by Saudi Aramco. It is responsible for shipping the oil by tankers and supertankers.
'AramcoBrats' is an organisation of individuals who grew up in Saudi Arabia as the dependants of expat employees of Saudi Aramco.
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