1. Overview

    Overview

    A well in Dhahran shows signs of oil in 1938. The story of Saudi Aramco tells of the discovery and development of the greatest energy reserves the world has ever known and the rapid transformation of Saudi Arabia from desert kingdom to modern nation-state. From our beginnings, we have grown from an oil-producing company to a fully integrated, global energy enterprise with partnerships in North America, Europe and Asia. Over the course of our history, we have built an unmatched record of reliability, and we remain committed to providing energy to the world and to maximizing the value of the country's petroleum reserves for the benefit of the Kingdom's citizens.

  2. 1930s

    1930s: Origins

    Dhahran, 1936. In the early 1930s, interest in the Gulf region's oil rises sharply, sparked by finds in Persia, Iraq, and Bahrain. After signing a concession agreement to search for oil in Saudi Arabia, the Standard Oil Company of California wastes no time preparing to explore the vast concession, putting in place the men and materials necessary to establish a presence in the Kingdom.

    1. 1933

      Concession Agreement is signed May 29, 1933.

      Concession Agreement is signed May 29, 1933.

      • Oil concession agreement signed

        On May 29, an oil concession agreement is signed between Saudi Arabia and Standard Oil Company of California (Socal). On November 8, a subsidiary company, California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc) is created to manage the concession.

    2. 1934

      Aerial surveying begins.

      Aerial surveying begins.

      • First geological survey of Dammam Dome completed

        Schuyler B. "Krug" Henry and J.W. "Soak" Hoover complete their survey and structural contour map of the Dammam Dome, the location of the first oil field discovery in Saudi Arabia.

      • The Bedouin guide Khamis ibn Rimthan helps exploration

        Early American geologists rely on Bedouins to guide them from one place to another. The most famous guide is Khamis ibn Rimthan, from the Ujman tribe. His expertise becomes indispensable and his cross-desert navigational talents leave the geologists awestruck.

      • First plane is used for aerial surveys

        A Fairchild 71, specially modified for long-distance flying and aerial photography, arrives in Jubail in 1934. The plane drastically reduces the time it takes to map the concession area which is the size of Louisana and Texas combined. Dick Kerr, the plane's pilot as well as a geologist, helps map the bulk of the concession in 1934 and 1935.

    3. 1935

      Dhahran and Well No. 1

      Dhahran and Well No. 1

      • First well drilled

        The first test well is drilled at Dhahran into the Dammam Dome.

      • New pier at al-Khobar

        The pier at al-Khobar is built, allowing the delivery of materials and supplies to build the infrastructure needed by the new company. The building of the pier marks one of the company's first major hiring efforts to employ Saudis.

    4. 1936

      The company launch to Bahrain.

      The company launch to Bahrain.

      • Texas Co. acquires 50% of the concession

        Texas Co. (now Chevron Corporation) acquires a 50% interest in Socal's concession.

    5. 1937

      Geologist Max Steineke.

      Geologist Max Steineke.

      • Max Steineke crosses Saudi Arabia for the first time

        Max Steineke arrives in Saudi Arabia in 1934, and becomes the company's chief geologist in 1936. In 1937, he crosses the Saudi Arabian peninsula and gains insights into its geological profile. Steineke and his partners also identify surface features that lead to the discovery of major oil fields including Ghawar, Abqaiq and Qatif.

    6. 1938

      A drilling crew on Well No. 7.

      A drilling crew on Well No. 7.

      • Commercial quantities of oil discovered at Dammam Well No. 7.

        The success of the Saudi Arabian oil enterprise rests on Well No. 7. After five years of fruitless drilling, Well No.7 seems like a dead end. Socal department heads seek advice from renowned geologist Max Steineke. Drawing on years of fieldwork in the Saudi desert and his own encyclopedic knowledge, Steineke tells them to keep drilling. Finally, on March 4, 1938, Dammam No. 7 starts producing 1,585 bpd at a depth of nearly 1½ kilometers.

    7. 1939

      D.G. Scofield loads first export of Saudi oil.

      D.G. Scofield loads first export of Saudi oil.

      • First tanker load of petroleum exported

        In May, King 'Abd al-'Aziz travels to Ras Tanura for a ceremony to mark the first export of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, loaded onto the D. G. Scofield. The ship, named after a co-founder of Socal, holds just under 1/20th the load of a modern supertanker.

  3. 1940s

    1940s: Foundations

    Casoc (renamed Aramco in 1944) grows exponentially from a small enterprise managing a promising oil concession into a high-performing, modern company with a thriving, multinational workforce. By 1940, Casoc employs 3,229 Saudis, 363 Americans and 121 other foreign employees. Average daily production is about 15,000 bpd. The company is poised to become one of the major oil producers in the world.

    1. 1940

      Bomb crater from misdirected World War II air raid.

      Bomb crater from misdirected World War II air raid.

      • Abqaiq field discovered

        While drilling continues on the Dammam Dome, chief geologist Max Steineke leads teams to study an apparent uplift in the Abqaiq area. Steineke, J. W. "Soak" Hoover and Jerry Harriss use this camp as their base of operations in 1936. Abqaiq Well No. 1 hits oil in early 1941, with flow rates indicating a major new oil field.

    2. 1941

      The first 'tea kettle' refinery in Ras Tanura

      The first "tea kettle" refinery in Ras Tanura

      • Tea kettle refinery shuts down

        A 3,000-bpd refinery opens in Ras Tanura, but is closed six months later due to shortages caused by World War II.

    3. 1942

      Bomb shelter in Dhahran during World War II.

      Bomb shelter in Dhahran during World War II.

      • Field mapping suspended

        Field mapping is suspended due to wartime limitations of manpower and equipment.

    4. 1943

      Dhahran during World War II.

      Dhahran during World War II.

      • Wartime shortages spur innovation

        Due to difficulties obtaining automotive parts, camel transport is used to supply the distant Jauf camp with diesel oil, gasoline, drilling muds and cement.

    5. 1944

      Aramco headquarters in San Francisco.

      Aramco headquarters in San Francisco.

      • Casoc becomes the Arabian American Oil Company

        On January 31, to more accurately reflect the Kingdom's newfound prominence among oil-producing nations, our name is changed to the Arabian American Oil Company, which becomes better known by its acronym, Aramco.

    6. 1945

      The Ras Tanura community grows quickly as the war nears its end.

      The Ras Tanura community grows quickly as the war nears its end.

      • Ras Tanura refinery begins operations

        The arrival of a shipment of steel turns Ras Tanura into a beehive of industrial activity as we begin constructing a major new refinery. The U.S. government, which sent the steel, intends for the refinery to supply fuel for Allied war efforts in the Pacific, but the war ends before refinery begins operations.

    7. 1946

      The first administration building, Dhahran.

      The first administration building, Dhahran.

      • First wing of administration building opens

        The first increment of the permanent administration building is completed and occupied in Dhahran.

    8. 1947

      The Ras Tanura Refinery.

      The Ras Tanura Refinery.

      • Ras Tanura completes first year of operations

        From its humble origins as a 'tea kettle' refinery to a 50,000 bpd facility, Ras Tanura Refinery completes its first full year of operation.

    9. 1948

      Radio operators keep in touch with field parties.

      Radio operators keep in touch with field parties.

      • Aramco acquires additional owners

        Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony-Vacuum (both now ExxonMobil) join Socal and Texaco (now Chevron Corporation) as owners of Aramco.

    10. 1949

      Dhahran expands in the post-war boom.

      Dhahran expands in the post-war boom.

      • Oil production hits 500,000 bpd

        Crude oil production of 500,000 bpd is achieved early in the year.

  4. 1950s

    1950s: Momentum

    A drilling rig at work in 1952 at Ain Dar, later discovered to be part of Ghawar, the world's largest oil field. This decade is a pivotal time for Saudi Arabia and Aramco. We evolve from our early exploration phase to become an oil production powerhouse to meet increasing worldwide demand for oil, with production reaching 500,000 bpd. Meanwhile, Saudis increasingly assume management positions in the company. At the end of the decade, two Saudis are elected to our Board of Directors.

    1. 1950

      The Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, links Saudi Arabia to a Mediterranean port.

      The Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, links Saudi Arabia to a Mediterranean port.

      • Tapline

        The 1,212 kilometer Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), is completed, making it the longest in the world. Tapline links eastern Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea, sharply cutting the time and cost of exporting oil to Europe. Tapline remains in operation until 1983.

    2. 1951

      Safaniya, the world's largest offshore oil field.

      Safaniya, the world's largest offshore oil field.

      • Safaniya offshore oil field discovered

        After two years of exploration in the shallow Arabian Gulf waters, the Safaniya field is discovered three kilometers offshore and 225 kilometers north of Dhahran. The field proves to be the world's largest offshore oil field.

    3. 1952

      The Flying Camel, Aramco's DC-6B, arrives in Dhahran.

      The Flying Camel, Aramco's DC-6B, arrives in Dhahran.

      • Aramco headquarters moves from New York to Dhahran.

        Aramco management makes the decision to move the company's headquarters from New York to Dhahran, reflecting Saudi Arabia's central role in the company's future.

    4. 1953

      Ras Tanura terminal and tank farm.

      Ras Tanura terminal and tank farm.

      • First company publication in Arabic

        In March 1951, three company translators propose an Arabic publication akin to the Sun and Flare, the English newspaper then issued by the company. Two years later, in October 1953, the first issue of Qafilat az-Zayt (The Oil Caravan) makes its debut.

    5. 1954

      Bookkeepers learn how to use new calculating machines.

      Bookkeepers learn how to use new calculating machines.

      • Oil production hits 1 million bpd

        In May 1954, oil production exceeds 1 million bpd for the first time.

    6. 1955

      Bedouin guide Khamis ibn Rimthan, right, with exploration field party.

      Bedouin guide Khamis ibn Rimthan, right, with exploration field party.

      • Exploration work well under way in the Rub' al-Khali

        Large Kenworth vehicles haul vital supplies to work crews deep in the desert every two weeks. Seismic, gravity magnetic and reconnaissance surveys lead to exploratory and structural drilling by the end of the decade.

    7. 1956

      Aramco headquarters in Dhahran.

      Aramco headquarters in Dhahran.

      • Community of 'Udhailiyah built

        The residential community of 'Udhailiyah is built atop the central part of the giant Ghawar field, 125 kilometers southwest of Abqaiq.

    8. 1957

      Drilling crew in the Rub' al-Khali.

      Drilling crew in the Rub' al-Khali.

      • True size of Ghawar revealed

        After ascertaining its full size, the Ghawar field enters the record books by becoming the world's largest known oil field, with reserves estimated at the time of 80 billion barrels.

    9. 1958

      A worker opens a valve at the Ras Tanura Refnery.

      A worker opens a valve at the Ras Tanura Refnery.

      • Oil production exceeds 1 million bpd annually

        Over the course of 1958, the company averages more than 1 million barrels of oil per day for the first time.

    10. 1959

      'Abd Allah Al-Turayqi and Hafiz Wahbah join the Aramco Board of Directors.

      'Abd Allah Al-Turayqi and Hafiz Wahbah join the Aramco Board of Directors.

      • Two Saudis join the Board of Directors

        'Abd Allah H. Al-Turayqi and Hafiz Wahbah become the first two Saudis to join the Aramco Board of Directors when they are elected on May 20, 1959.

  5. 1960s

    1960s: Development

    A helicopter lands on an Aramco mobile drilling platform in the Arabian Gulf, 1967. The pace of spending on modernization and development quickens in the 1960s. Production reaches 2 million bpd. Further support for the advancement of Saudi employees comes with the establishment of the College of Petroleum of Minerals in 1963 (later renamed King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals).

    1. 1960

      A Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, DC-3 flies over the Tapline terminal at Sidon, Lebanon.

      A Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, DC-3 flies over the Tapline terminal at Sidon, Lebanon.

      • OPEC formed

        Officials from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

    2. 1961

      A tanker loads liquified petroleum gas at Ras Tanura.

      A tanker loads liquified petroleum gas at Ras Tanura.

      • Exporting of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) begins

        The first shipment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is loaded onto a tanker at Ras Tanura.

    3. 1962

      All-Saudi crew at the Ras Tanura Refinery.

      All-Saudi crew at the Ras Tanura Refinery.

      • Crude oil production hits 5 billion barrels

        Cumulative crude oil production reaches 5 billion barrels.

    4. 1963

      The oil dispatching center at Abqaiq.

      The oil dispatching center at Abqaiq.

      • Aramco granted patent for oil sweetening process

        We create a patented oil sweetening distillation process that removes hydrogen sulfide and reduces vapor pressure, making the crude oil safe for shipment in tankers.

    5. 1964

      The discovery well, Berri oil field.

      The discovery well, Berri oil field.

      • Najat Husseini becomes first professional Saudi woman employee

        Najat Husseini is hired as a health educator and she becomes the first university-educated Saudi female employee. At the end of 2010, our staff includes around 560 Saudi women with university degrees, working in positions from petroleum engineers to nurses, part of a total female workforce of about 1,000.

    6. 1965

      An exploration field crew in the Rub’ al-Khali

      An exploration field crew in the Rub’ al-Khali

      • Zafer H. Husseini becomes the first Saudi manager

        Zafer H. Husseini joins the company in 1952. Three years later, he is named manager of the Products Distribution Department in Dhahran.

      • Oil production reaches 2 million bpd

        The production capacity of the Safaniya field increases by 150,000 bpd to more than 600,000 bpd, a gain that helps the company produce an average of over 2 million bpd, a record high.

    7. 1966

      The first supertanker  to berth at Ras Tanura Sea Island Terminal.

      The first supertanker to berth at Ras Tanura Sea Island Terminal.

      • Ras Tanura Sea Island begins loading tankers

        A two-berth Sea Island offshore crude-oil loading terminal, built for the largest tankers afloat, begins operation off Ras Tanura.

      • Octane Boosting Alkylation Process patent

        A patent is granted for the Octane Boosting Alkylation Process that raises production of transport and other fuels.

    8. 1967

      Gas-oil separation plant No. 1 at Abqaiq.

      Gas-oil separation plant No. 1 at Abqaiq.

      • Crude oil and product liftings exceed 2 million bpd

        Two more deep water berths open at the Ras Tanura Sea Island Terminal with a fifth near completion. The 2,694 tankers that call at the port this year take on 753 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products. Liftings of crude oil and products exceed 2 million barrels daily for the first time.

    9. 1968

      An exploration camp near Shaybah, in the Rub' al-Khali, or Empty Quarter.

      An exploration camp near Shaybah, in the Rub' al-Khali, or Empty Quarter.

      • Oil production reaches a billion barrels in a single year

        We become the first company to produce a billion barrels of crude oil in a single year.

      • Shaybah oil field discovered

        After two years of seismic exploration in the most inaccessible and inhospitable area yet penetrated by our exploration teams, the Shaybah field is discovered.

    10. 1969

      Aramco's first offshore gas-oil separation plant, Safaniya field.

      Aramco's first offshore gas-oil separation plant, Safaniya field.

      • First offshore gas-oil separation plant (GOSP)

        Our first offshore gas-oil separation plant (GOSP) goes on-stream 40 km from Safaniya in the Arabian Gulf.

  6. 1970s

    1970s: Growth

    A gas-oil separation plant is lifted into position on an offshore platform in the Marjan oil field, 1973. Annual crude oil production more than doubles in the first four years of the decade and the workforce nearly doubles in five years. By the late 1970s, Aramco is running three of the largest projects in the world simultaneously. The company assumes a new identity as the Saudi Arabian government begins the gradual process of acquiring Aramco, and the company takes its place at the center of the world energy landscape.

    1. 1970

      Computers are used for processing seismic data and payroll, among other tasks.

      Computers are used for processing seismic data and payroll, among other tasks.

      • Record shipments from Ras Tanura

        Shipments of crude oil and petroleum products from Ras Tanura surpass a billion barrels per year for the first time.

    2. 1971

      Abqaiq Plants expanded  in the 1970s as Aramco boosted oil production.

      Abqaiq Plants expanded in the 1970s as Aramco boosted oil production.

      • Crude oil production increases by more than 25%

        Our crude oil production increases by more than 25% from 1970 levels.

    3. 1972

      Tankers take on crude oil at the Ras Tanura Sea Island Terminal, 1974.

      Tankers take on crude oil at the Ras Tanura Sea Island Terminal, 1974.

      • Fourth two-berth Sea Island comes into service

        In December 1972, the fourth Sea Island is completed, adding two more berths for tankers.

    4. 1973

      A cross section of the people of Aramco, photographed in Ras Tanura.

      A cross section of the people of Aramco, photographed in Ras Tanura.

      • Saudi government buys 25% interest in Aramco

        The Saudi government buys a 25% participation interest in Aramco, increasing it to 60% the following year.

    5. 1974

      The Ju'aymah offshore crude oil terminal.

      The Ju'aymah offshore crude oil terminal.

      • First Saudi vice president

        In August 1974, Faysal M. Al-Bassam is named vice president of Public Affairs, the first Saudi to be appointed vice president.

      • Saudi government increases interest to 60%

        The Saudi government increases its participation interest in Aramco to 60%.

      • Ju'aymah offshore terminal opens

        The Ju'aymah Offshore Terminal, 24 km northwest of Ras Tanura, opens with two single point mooring systems (SPMs) in service with an initial loading capacity of 1 million barrels of crude oil per day.

    6. 1975

      A component of the Abqaiq natural gas liquids plant is delivered by truck.

      A component of the Abqaiq natural gas liquids plant is delivered by truck.

      • Design begins on the Master Gas System

        We are commissioned by the Saudi government to create Saudi Arabia's Master Gas System, a multi-billion dollar nationwide system designed to supply all the Kingdom's gas needs and fuel major export industries.

    7. 1976

      An aluminum products manufacturer in Dammam helps meet Aramco's growing need for materials.

      An aluminum products manufacturer in Dammam helps meet Aramco's growing need for materials.

      • First to produce more than 3 billion barrels of oil in a year

        We become the only company to produce more than 3 billion barrels of oil in a year.

    8. 1977

      Workers are housed in floating hotels during the rapid expansion of operations in the mid-1970s.

      Workers are housed in floating hotels during the rapid expansion of operations in the mid-1970s.

      • Berri Gas Plant begins operations

        On October 29, 1977, the first of the Master Gas System plants opens. Berri NGL Center supplies treated gases as fuel and chemical feedstock to the industrial complex at Jubail and natural gas liquids for export.

    9. 1978

      The Qurayyah Seawater Treatment Plant.

      The Qurayyah Seawater Treatment Plant.

      • Qurayyah seawater treatment plant completed

        Qurayyah Seawater Treatment Plant, the world's largest, supplies 4.2 million bpd of treated seawater, replacing saline aquifer water for injection in the Ghawar field to maintain reservoir pressure.

    10. 1979

      Construction of the East-West NGL Pipeline, which links Shedgum Gas Plant to the Yanbu' Industrial City.

      Construction of the East-West NGL Pipeline, which links Shedgum Gas Plant to the Yanbu' Industrial City.

      • Yanbu' Industrial City dedicated

        Following a 1975 Royal Decree, the industrial city of Yanbu' is linked by pipeline to Aramco's Master Gas System for a ready and low-cost supply of fuel and feedstock.

  7. 1980s

    1980s: Transformation

    The East-West Crude Oil Pipeline, 1985. The worldwide decline in oil prices in the 1980s causes the company to regroup and become leaner. Despite the downturn, we undergo a significant transformation, marked by full ownership of the company by the Saudi government, the opening of the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC), and the appointment of Ali I. Al-Naimi as the first Saudi president of Aramco. By the end of the decade, all of the company's top executives are Saudis and the proportion of Saudis in the workforce reaches 73%.

    1. 1980

      The Aramco communities grow quickly in the early 1980s.

      The Aramco communities grow quickly in the early 1980s.

      • Saudi government concludes purchase of Aramco

        The government increases its participation interest in Aramco's crude oil concession rights, production and facilities to 100%, with retroactive financial effect to 1976.

    2. 1981

      The Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center is the first facility of its kind in the Middle East.

      The Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center is the first facility of its kind in the Middle East.

      • Data processing begins at EXPEC Computer Center

        Data processing begins at the EXPEC (Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center) Computer Center, one of the world's largest geoscience computing facilities.

    3. 1982

      The scale of industrial projects is reflected in this pipe yard in Yanbu'

      The scale of industrial projects is reflected in this pipe yard in Yanbu'

      • East-West Pipelines completed

        Two pipelines are completed, linking oil production facilities in the Eastern Province with Yanbu' on the west coast. One line transports natural gas liquids (NGL) from Shedgum and the other delivers crude oil from Abqaiq. The two pipelines are the most advanced computer-monitored hydrocarbons pipelines ever built.

      • Company halts production at Well No. 7

        The discovery well, Dammam No. 7, is shut in after producing almost 32.5 million barrels of oil over 45 years.

    4. 1983

      The second wellhead from Well No. 7 stands outside the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center, or EXPEC.

      The second wellhead from Well No. 7 stands outside the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center, or EXPEC.

      • Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC) inaugurated

        On May 16, 1983, King Fahd ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz inaugurates the EXPEC building in Dhahran. The facility helps us move to the forefront of world-class technology in exploration, drilling and reservoir engineering.

    5. 1984

      Ali I. Al-Naimi becomes the first Saudi president of Aramco.

      Ali I. Al-Naimi becomes the first Saudi president of Aramco.

      • Vela International Marine Limited is founded

        Our subsidiary, Vela, begins operations with four crude oil tankers that ship the company's refined products and crude oil.

      • Ali I. Al-Naimi appointed company's first Saudi president

        Ali I. Al-Naimi, seated at right, becomes our first Saudi president in 1984, and is appointed CEO in 1988. In 1995, he is named Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

    6. 1985

      An operator in the 'Uthmaniyah Gas Plant monitors processes from the plant's control room.

      An operator in the 'Uthmaniyah Gas Plant monitors processes from the plant's control room.

      • Aramco's first female petroleum engineer

        After receiving a master's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Na'ilah Mousli becomes our first female petroleum engineer. She goes on to mentor many other Saudi women employees and becomes the company's first female manager, overseeing Reservoir Engineering.

    7. 1986

      A geologist examines rock samples, part of Aramco's campaign to discover new petroleum reserves.

      A geologist examines rock samples, part of Aramco's campaign to discover new petroleum reserves.

      • Original concession area reassigned

        In the years following the original 1933 concession, and the supplemental 1939 concession, our exploration area is reduced through a series of relinquishments. In 1986, the government requests that we expand our exploration activities to include areas had previously relinquished.

    8. 1987

      A young visitor explores the world at the Saudi Aramco Exhibit in Dhahran.

      A young visitor explores the world at the Saudi Aramco Exhibit in Dhahran.

      • New Aramco Exhibit opens in Dhahran

        We replace our original exhibit, which opened in Dhahran in the 1950s. The new facility opens in 1987 to help educate the public about the oil industry.

    9. 1988

      A cartographer studies a three-dimensional stratigraphic model of an oil reservoir.

      A cartographer studies a three-dimensional stratigraphic model of an oil reservoir.

      • Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is established

        On November 8, 1988, the Council of Ministers approves a charter for a new national oil enterprise — the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. A Royal Decree issued by King Fahd ratifies that decision, establishing a new company to take over all the responsibilities of Aramco.

      • First joint refining and marketing venture established in the U.S.

        A company subsidiary and Texaco establish the company's first joint refining and marketing venture, Star Enterprise, in the eastern and Gulf Coast U.S.

    10. 1989

      The discovery well at Hawtah, the first oil field found in central Saudi Arabia.

      The discovery well at Hawtah, the first oil field found in central Saudi Arabia.

      • First oil discovery in central Saudi Arabia

        The first oil discoveries in central Saudi Arabia — at Hawtah and Dilam, south of Riyadh — are announced.

  8. 1990s

    1990s: Global reach

    Shaybah, 1998. The last decade of the century is a time of invention and investment. The increasingly global role played by the Kingdom, and consequently the company, in the 1990s is marked by the international conflict that convulses the Gulf region early in the decade. At the same time, we continue to forge international ties to strengthen our business while coping with some of the most dramatic swings in world oil prices in a generation.

    1. 1990

      The Operations Coordination Center is the central control room for Saudi Aramco's oil and gas operations.

      The Operations Coordination Center is the central control room for Saudi Aramco's oil and gas operations.

      • Saudi Aramco helps stabilize world markets

        On August 2, 1990, Iraq invades neighboring Kuwait. We focus on helping to stabilize world energy markets, bringing on additional production capacity. By year's end, our average daily production is running at an astonishing 8.5 million bpd, up from 5.4 million bpd in July.

    2. 1991

      The S-Oil refinery and harbor complex in Onsan, Republic of Korea.

      The S-Oil refinery and harbor complex in Onsan, Republic of Korea.

      • 35% interest acquired in Korean refinery

        We expand our international presence when a company affiliate purchases a 35% interest in the SsangYong Oil Refining Company (renamed S-Oil in 2000) in the Republic of Korea.

    3. 1992

      The discovery well at Midyan, near the Red Sea coast.

      The discovery well at Midyan, near the Red Sea coast.

      • Oil and gas discovered on the Red Sea coastal plain.

        Exploration efforts along the Red Sea coastal plain yield results in 1992 with the discovery of sweet gas and condensate at Midyan, near the Gulf of Aqaba.

    4. 1993

      The project to build a gas-oil separation plant in the offshore Marjan field nears completion.

      The project to build a gas-oil separation plant in the offshore Marjan field nears completion.

      • Government facilitates merger of Samarec and Saudi Aramco

        Headquartered in Jiddah, Samarec is responsible for refining, international product marketing and the distribution of petroleum products throughout the Kingdom. In June 1993, King Fahd issues a Royal Decree sanctioning the Council of Ministers' decision to merge the operation and facilities of Samarec into Saudi Aramco.

    5. 1994

      A Saudi Aramco subsidiary purchases a 40-percent stake in Petron, a refining and marketing company in the Philippines.

      A Saudi Aramco subsidiary purchases a 40-percent stake in Petron, a refining and marketing company in the Philippines.

      • 40% interest acquired in Petron

        A Saudi Aramco subsidiary acquires a 40% equity interest in Petron Corporation, the largest crude oil refiner and marketer in the Philippines.

    6. 1995

      A supertanker destined to join the Vela International Marine Limited fleet takes shape in a shipyard.

      A supertanker destined to join the Vela International Marine Limited fleet takes shape in a shipyard.

      • Vela completes program to build 15 supertankers

        In 1992, Vela embarks on an ambitious shipbuilding plan to add 15 new very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to the fleet, each with the capacity to carry more than 2 million barrels of oil. The three-year project is completed in March 1995, when the Alphard Star is transferred from its Danish builder to Vela.

    7. 1996

      A company 737 undergoes inspection and maintenance.

      A company 737 undergoes inspection and maintenance.

      • First European joint venture

        We announce our first joint venture in Europe — the purchase of a 50% stake in privately held Greek refiner Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries S.A., and its marketing affiliate, Avinoil Industrial Commercial and Maritime Oil Company, S.A.

    8. 1997

      Earth scientists and petroleum engineers work together in the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center in Dhahran.

      Earth scientists and petroleum engineers work together in the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center in Dhahran.

      • POWERS developed

        We develop POWERS (Parallel Oil-Water-Gas-Reservoir Simulator), a high-resolution reservoir simulator to model and predict the performance of super-giant reservoirs.

    9. 1998

      The administrative and residential complex at Shaybah.

      The administrative and residential complex at Shaybah.

      • Shaybah field comes on-stream

        Although discovered in 1968, the Shaybah oil field, 800 kilometers south of Dhahran, requires the passage of 27 years for economic conditions and improvements in drilling and other technologies to make development of the field feasible. Development begins in 1995 and in July 1998, one year earlier than planned, the Shaybah oil field comes on-stream.

      • Merger produces Motiva Enterprises, LLC

        Superseding a previous joint venture established a decade earlier known as Star Enterprise, Saudi Refining Inc. (SRI), a subsidiary company, and Texaco merge their Star Enterprise joint venture with Shell Oil assets in the United States to form Motiva Enterprises, LLC.

    10. 1999

      The Ras Tanura Refinery after the completion of a major upgrade project.

      The Ras Tanura Refinery after the completion of a major upgrade project.

      • Major upgrades completed

        The Ras Tanura Refinery upgrade, completed in 1998, increases the percentage of high-value products that the refinery can produce from each barrel of crude oil. Concurrently, we bolster our domestic product network, increasing operating efficiency and eliminating approximately 1,650 tanker trucks daily from the highways, thereby improving traffic safety.

  9. 2000s

    2000s: Achievements

    The largest capital program in our history is completed in 2009. We begin producing petrochemicals with international partners and secure enough patents to set a company record. We complete the largest capital expansion program in our history and natural gas exploration and production receive increased focus. As a fully integrated, global energy company with partnerships around the world, the company delivers on the Kingdom's long-standing promise to ensure the stability of the international oil market and the reliability of supplies to consumers.

    1. 2000

      Petroleum reservoirs are modeled in 3-D visualization rooms to optimize production .

      Petroleum reservoirs are modeled in 3-D visualization rooms to optimize production .

      • Research & Development Center (R&DC) opens

        Company scientists get their own home in November 2000: the state-of-the-art Research and Development Center (R&DC) in Dhahran. R&DC spearheads the development of cutting-edge surface upstream and downstream technology.

      • A fresh look

        We introduce a new logo with the new millennium. The new corporate identity is unveiled in Dhahran on April 24.

    2. 2001

      The Hawiyah Gas Plant is the first to process nonassociated gas.

      The Hawiyah Gas Plant is the first to process nonassociated gas.

      • Hawiyah Gas plant begins gas production

        The Hawiyah Gas plant begins operations with a processing capacity of 1.4 billion standard cubic feet of non-associated gas per day. The plant boosts the Kingdom's gas supply by more than 30%, fuels electricity grids and water desalination plants, and feeds the country's petrochemical industry.

    3. 2002

      The Leo Star, a double-hulled supertanker capable of transporting 2 million barrels of crude oil, joins the Vela fleet.

      The Leo Star, a double-hulled supertanker capable of transporting 2 million barrels of crude oil, joins the Vela fleet.

      • Company subsidiary acquires Texaco's interest in Motiva

        Saudi Refining Inc., a subsidiary of Aramco Services Company, takes a 50% interest in Motiva, the refining and marketing company operating primarily in the eastern United States. The other 50% interest is owned by Shell.

    4. 2003

      The Haradh Gas Plant is named Project of the Year by the Project Management Institute.

      The Haradh Gas Plant is named Project of the Year by the Project Management Institute.

      • Haradh Gas Plant opens

        Located at the southern tip of Ghawar, Haradh Gas Plant is our second facility to process only non-associated gas. Designed to process 1.6 billion standard cubic feet per day of a combined raw feed of sweet and sour gas, the plant comes on-stream in June.

    5. 2004

      The Qatif crude oil increment added 800,000 barrels per day of oil processing capacity to our portfolio.

      The Qatif crude oil increment added 800,000 barrels per day of oil processing capacity to our portfolio.

      • Company acquires interest in Showa Shell

        A company subsidiary acquires a 10% shareholding in Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., a Royal Dutch/Shell refining and marketing arm in Japan. We agree to provide Showa Shell with a minimum of 300,000 bpd of oil. The equity stake is later increased to nearly 15%.

    6. 2005

      The digital display wall in the Operations Coordination Center is the largest in the petroleum industry.

      The digital display wall in the Operations Coordination Center is the largest in the petroleum industry.

      • Joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical Co.

        We form a joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. of Japan, to develop an integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Rabigh on the Red Sea coast.

    7. 2006

      The Haradh oil increment is developed with 32 maximum reservoir contact wells rather than 280 vertical wells, slashing well-development costs.

      The Haradh oil increment is developed with 32 maximum reservoir contact wells rather than 280 vertical wells, slashing well-development costs.

      • New technologies at Haradh III

        Haradh III is the first major addition to production capacity — at Saudi Aramco or anywhere else in the world — to bundle the latest drilling and production technologies and apply them to a drilling program developed for a particular field.

    8. 2007

      The Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd. complex in China.

      The Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd. complex in China.

      • Equity ventures in China

        Company subsidiary Saudi Aramco Sino Co. Ltd. (SASC) sign agreements with ExxonMobil, Sinopec Corp and the Fujian Provincial Government of China to form two joint ventures: Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (FRPC), a refining and petrochemicals venture, and Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd. (SSPC), a marketing venture.

    9. 2008

      Saudi Aramco celebrates its 75th anniversary in Dhahran.

      Saudi Aramco celebrates its 75th anniversary in Dhahran.

      • 75th anniversary

        We celebrate our 75th anniversary in Dhahran in May.

    10. 2009

      The Petro Rabigh project integrates an existing refinery with a petrochemical complex.

      The Petro Rabigh project integrates an existing refinery with a petrochemical complex.

      • 12-million bpd capacity expansion program completed

        We complete a multi-stage, large-scale project spanning our entire business, expanding our production and processing capacity of oil, gas, natural gas liquids, refining and petrochemicals. With this expansion, maximum sustainable crude oil production capacity reaches 12 million bpd, nearly 15% of total global oil demand.

      • Petro Rabigh, our first petrochemical plant, begins production

        In partnership with Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. of Japan, we enter the petrochemical business with the start-up of Petro Rabigh, an integrated refinery and petrochemical plant.

  10. 2010s

    2010s: Rising to the challenge

    We are committed to being the world's most reliable supplier of petroleum. Our future strategy envisions expanding further downstream and creating more value from the Kingdom's natural resources. Innovation and partnerships remain a cornerstone of our business, bringing ever more efficiency to our operations and combining specialized skills, technologies and proven competencies to the benefit of both. We remain committed to being the most reliable supplier of energy to our customers around the world.

    1. 2010

      Hydrocarbon reservoirs are modeled using advanced simulation technology.

      Hydrocarbon reservoirs are modeled using advanced simulation technology.

      • GigaPOWERS unveiled

        In January, we unveil our unrivaled giga-cell reservoir simulation technology, GigaPOWERS. This is the second generation of our reservoir simulator, POWERS (Parallel Oil, Water and Gas Enhanced Reservoir Simulator), which models fluid movement in reservoirs to optimize production.

      • First field test of Resbots™

        In June, engineers from our EXPEC Advanced Research Center demonstrate for the first time that specialized nano-agents can be injected and produced under live field conditions in an observation well. Developers envision that Resbots will be able to measure, report and interact with the reservoir environment to monitor and alter reservoir properties to maximize oil recovery.

    2. 2011

      Saudi Aramco CEO Al-Falih and Dow CEO Liveris at the Sadara Joint Venture Shareholders' Agreement on Oct. 8.

      Saudi Aramco CEO Al-Falih and Dow CEO Liveris at the Sadara Joint Venture Shareholders' Agreement on Oct. 8.

      • Sadara joint venture formed

        In November, we announce the official formation of the Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company. Once complete, the Sadara complex will be one of the world's largest integrated chemical facilities, and the largest ever built in one single phase.

    3. 2012

      The Karan field is our first offshore non-associated gas field.

      The Karan field is our first offshore non-associated gas field.

      • YASREF formed

        In January, we formed the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) Limited, a joint venture with Sinopec of China to build a world-class, 400,000 barrels-per-day full-conversion refinery in Yanbu' on the Red Sea.

      • Karan Gas Program

        Non-associated natural gas produced from our offshore Karan field has helped boost the Kingdom's gas production capacity by 18 percent. The project, completed ahead of schedule, reached its full production capacity of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day in time to meet peak summer demand.

      • Jazan Refinery & Terminal

        In November, we signed contracts for the construction phase of this refinery, power plant and terminal project in Jazan, in the southwestern region of the Kingdom. The refinery, with a capacity to process 400,000 barrels per day, will anchor the Jazan Economic City.