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A Continued Tradition of Excellence

Another chapter was added to Saudi Aramco’s storied history of excellence last week as the company celebrated the 2018 Excellence Awards with a ceremony at al-Ghawar Hall.


There is no doubt that our industry leadership today is because of our most important asset, and the sustained source of competitive advantage — the great men and women of Saudi Aramco. -Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser

With the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors in attendance, including Board Chairman HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, as well as members of senior management, a total of 19 individual and team achievements companywide were recognized.

“The continued pursuit of excellence has been critical to Saudi Aramco’s long-term success, thanks to breakthrough and innovative solutions to make our resources more valuable for our long-term growth and value creation,” Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser told attendees. 

Nasser paid special tribute to two of those individuals from the past who were instrumental in pivoting Saudi Aramco into the company that it is today, recalling the tremendous perseverance of American geologist Max Steineke and Bedouin guide Khamis ibn Rimthan that led to the first commercial oil discovery in Saudi Arabia 80 years ago this month.

“That achievement was made possible not by advanced technology or tools,” said Nasser. “It was due to innovative thinking. Like Steineke and Rimthan, and the many others that followed them, our honorees today have displayed remarkable resilience in times of adversity, and they are advancing the work we are doing.”

Nasser commended this year’s honorees for their “commitment, dedication, and sacrifices,” noting the valuable contributions of their families and the company’s management for helping create an “enabling” environment that delivers “innovative solutions that further strengthen and transform our company.

“We have always put excellence at the core of Saudi Aramco’s values, and we will continue to reinforce our culture of excellence,” said Nasser. “The importance of excellence to our business — with innovation at its heart — has never been more clear or essential.”

The most valuable key

Innovation has certainly been at the forefront of Hamad A. Al-Madi’s career with Saudi Aramco since joining the company in 2000.

Al-Madi, a foreman in the Machine and Welding Shops Unit of the Mechanical Services Shops Department (MSSD) at Shedgum, was recognized this year for his innovative contributions over the years. In the past year alone, Al-Madi came up with 30 new innovations — 22 of which have already been implemented. In all, Al-Madi has been credited with a total of 71 ideas that have been implemented — with many of those resulting in significant savings for the company in terms of costs and time.

“Being innovative is the most valuable key to making our jobs successful,” said Al-Madi. “My great inspiration is my family, and the motivation from our MSSD management helps us to achieve these innovations and milestones.”

Divergent thinking

Daniele Colombo, a senior consultant with the Geophysics Technology Division of the EXPEC Advanced Research Center, was a member of a five-man team that was recognized for the creation of Disruptive Technologies for Near Surface Analysis and Reservoir Monitoring.

“It’s a great honor to receive such a prestigious award on disruptive technology creation,” Colombo said on behalf of the EXPEC ARC team. “The award is a recognition of how divergent thinking in research can reshape the approach to solving exploration and productions challenges in Saudi Aramco, and around the world.”

A great motivation

A seven-man team with the company’s Engineering Solutions Center (ESC) was recognized for advances that have been made, which serve as a key enabler of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.

Hussein S. Salloum, an engineering consultant with the Process and Control Systems Department, said ESC has access to vast data, technological tolls, and systems, as well as the expert professionals required to enable innovation.

“The developed innovative solutions generate insights and intelligence out of operational data and present it in the right context, at the right time, to the right people, to enhance the decision making process,” said Salloum. “The much appreciated Excellence Award recognition is a great motivation and provides fuel for recharging us to continue on the journey of excellence.”

Truly honored

Khalid F. Al Hazmi, director of the Corporate Citizenship Division of the Public Relations Operations Department, said having the team recognized with an Excellence Award marks a major milestone in an ambitious plan — the “Saudi Aramco Initiative for Empowering Productive Communities” — undertaken three years ago.

Al Hazmi credited team members for “following through with action every day, solving problems, and overcoming challenges” to introduce a variety of economic programs to underprivileged communities throughout the Kingdom.

“Our citizenship team is truly honored to receive such a significant award,” said Al Hazmi. “This would not have been possible without the inspiration and support we received from our management and colleagues — from whom we derived the strength to challenge ourselves through this journey.”

Al Hazmi said the citizenship efforts to introduce even more community investment projects in Saudi Arabia to enable beneficiaries to finally become independent will continue — in support of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 transformation plan. “This recognition motivates us to continue delivering impactful results and create opportunities for communities,” he said.

I love our culture, our traditions

For Quriyan M. Al-Hajri, the journey of excellence started several years ago — more than 36 in fact — when he first joined Saudi Aramco, and within months was assigned to the department that he would serve for the rest of his career — Wellsites Services. His expertise on the job over the years was matched by his uncanny, in-depth understanding of desert terrain that became legendary. He was among the first to travel deep into the Rub’ al-Khali, figuratively and literally paving the way for the eventual Shaybah mega-project.

But his work on the job only tells part of the historic story about Al-Hajri, who has spent a lifetime sharing Saudi Arabia’s great culture and history with countless visitors from all walks of life to his ‘Ain Dar area farm over the years. Al-Hajri was humbled by receiving one of the five awards presented for individual achievements this year.

“I was really delighted to receive this honor,” said Al-Hajri. “I can’t tell you what is inside my heart right now.” Al-Hajri was especially proud to receive kind words from the Chairman and the CEO on his role serving as an unofficial ambassador for the Kingdom. “I do this because I love our culture, our traditions, and I want to share them,” said Al-Hajri. “It is not good to keep a story hidden. It needs to be shared with people.”

For details on all the awards, click here for in-depth coverage in the Arabian Sun 

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