Saudi Aramco's Power Systems Renewables Department (PSRD) recently hosted its first engagement workshop with domestic joint ventures and relevant Saudi Aramco departments to identify opportunities and share knowledge about renewables and smart energy solutions.
Among the 46 attendees were representatives from SAMREF, SASREF, John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Sadara, YASREF and Luberef, as well as participants from Saudi Aramco organizations such as the Consulting Services, Facilities Planning, Process and Control Systems, Project Management Office, and ESD.
All joint venture representatives were encouraged to analyze their facility operations and identify opportunities to reduce costs by deploying renewable technologies.
The value of solar power
Abdulkarim A. Al Ghamdi, executive director of Aramco's Power Systems, highlighted the significant decrease in the cost of power from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems due to a combination of factors such as significant global growth in renewables investment, reduction in equipment costs, and increasing efficiencies in solar technology. He also emphasized the competitive advantages for renewable applications as an integrated part of our business, which would create value for Saudi Aramco.
The company plans to increase the application of solar PV for remote facilities in Upstream and Downstream operations, as solar PV with battery storage can provide a viable alternative to installing and extending electrical distribution lines.
Participants raised several discussion points, such as availability of land, renewables deployment for specific applications, and technical and operations support. Among some of the ideas introduced for solar PV installation included remote monitoring and control via Wi-Fi network for efficient assets management.
The three main themes that emerged from the brainstorming sessions were solar PV applications, smart energy solutions, and waste-to-energy opportunities.
Solar powering oil and gas production wells
As part of exchanging knowledge and best practices about the deployment of renewables, Power Systems organized a site visit to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in the United Arab Emirates with representatives from various admin areas, including Upstream, Downstream and Technical Services. The company’s delegation visited ADNOC’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and then the operations in the area. The purpose was to exchange knowledge about off-grid solar PVs on well sites and other relevant applications.
One of the key takeaways of the visit was that the Saudi Aramco team discovered there were no reliability issues related to stand-alone solar power systems in the fields they visited, which is one of the largest in the UAE.