Aramco professional takes the helm of Society of Petroleum Engineers

Aramco professional takes the helm of Society of Petroleum Engineers
Published: 4 October 2018 - 2 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

Saudi Aramco made a strong showing at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dallas, as Sami A Alnuaim was named president of the international organisation for 2019, four Aramco researchers received distinguished awards, and company staff contributed to about 20 scientific papers and panels.

Alnuaim, who currently serves as manager of the Petroleum Engineering Application Services Department at Saudi Aramco, delivered a keynote address in which he spoke about the importance to the energy industry of reaching new talented students, harnessing technological change, and speaking proudly about the industry’s current outstanding global sustainability performance.

Alnuaim’s election as president of the SPE marks only the second time a Saudi Aramco petroleum engineer has been named to lead the reputable organisation since it was officially formed in 1957 from predecessor organisations, including the American Institute of Mining & Metallurgical and Petroleum, which dates back to 1871.

Alnuaim said he was honoured to be handed the ceremonial SPE gavel just after the celebration of the 88th Saudi National Day. The international board of directors took a few minutes at the beginning of its official meeting on 23 September to recognise the national event and sent greetings wishing prosperity to the kingdom.

“It is customary for each SPE president to choose a theme to focus on during their term, and I have chosen one that is important to all of us — energy sustainability,” Alnuaim said at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center during the organisation’s flagship annual event held during 24-26 September and attended by more than 8,000 attendees.

“I want to show the world that we are a major factor in the solution to both environmental and social development challenges facing our industry today,” Alnuaim said. Doing so will help correct several misconceptions about our industry, and thereby attract new talented engineers to the oil and gas sector, he added.

The industry has made continuous progress reducing its carbon footprint and more innovations are on the horizon as the oil and gas industry works to continue addressing the world’s energy needs, Alnuaim said. He noted that the entry in September of three new major US companies into the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, of which Saudi Aramco is a founding member, is a sign of progress.

Alnuaim said that he plans to build bridges between geoscience schools around the world to share top academic programmes and curricula and strengthen their programmes by reflecting recent advances in technology and engagement with communities. This, he said, will help produce ‘citizen engineers’ who innovate, advance the industry, and most importantly, care about the community.

Aramco has been a long-time supporter of SPE, which has about 150,000 members worldwide, and the conference allowed the company to showcase its leadership position in the upstream world, while also telling stakeholders about the diversification of its business portfolio — especially in regard to research and development globally and in the US.

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