Oil production capacity to hit 12 mn bpd by November - Saudi Aramco CEO

Amin Nasser President and CEOSaudi Aramco is on course to regain maximum sustained capacity of 12 mn bpd by November, thanks to the accelerated completion of restoration work following the September drone attacks on two of its major facilities, said Amin H Nasser, the company’s president and CEO at the Oil & Money conference in London

Giving a keynote speech at the conference on 9 October, Nasser said that the localisation of service and supply chains, flexibility and redundancy built into its facilities and fast production network proved instrumental in accelerating the restoration work following the attacks on Khurais and Abqaiq, which knocked out 5.7 mn bpd of production. As a result, Aramco was able to exceed by one week its own target of reaching pre-attack production levels.

Nasser paid tribute to the company’s well-trained personnel and robust emergency response and business continuity plans, which had been critical factors in minimising damage and disruption and restoring production.

“Everyone knows what they are supposed to do in an emergency, with drills and scenarios to handle certain things, although not to that scale, where we had 10 major fires and six fires in one plant. Even at 3.30 in the morning, with no managers present, our people were able to depressurise the system and cut to feed to both these plants within minutes, our fire hydrants and firefighters were assembled, and all available firefighters were brought in. The fires at Khurais were put out within five hours and those at Abqaiq in seven hours.” Production at Khurais resumed in 24 hours, and production at Abqaiq in around 48 hours, he said.

Nasser stressed the need to take emergency response and drills very seriously, and make sure all personnel, not just the firefighters, have the right training and skills to respond to an emergency and are able to work as a team, pointing out that the first responders to the fires had been the operators and craftsmen.

He said that the company has detailed business continuity plans dealing with anything from the breakdown of an individual piece of equipment such as a compressor or motor to the shutdown of a complete plant.

“We have business continuity systems with scenarios for everything and what we need to do, in a major incident like this. All the resources required and all contractors in the kingdom were made available. At Abqaiq, 2,000 contractors mobilised within 24 hours knowing what they were required to do. Our procurement engine worked; within 48 hours we had materials we were short of. Everything worked like clockwork. It took ten days to finish the works and restore the facilities back to target capacity of 11.3. bn bpd.

“We need to be prepared, and we always drill based on that. We never expected anything of this magnitude, with attacks on two major facilities at the same time and the need to respond to them at the same time.

“None of our international customers’ shipments were interrupted, even during the attacks. It is a testament to the strength of the company that we were able to bring facility back with no impact to our international customers and no reduction in our revenue.”

Nasser stressed that the attacks “not only target Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabia, these attacks target the global economy and the global community.” He expressed the feat that “the absence of international resolve to take concrete action might embolden the attackers and put the world’s energy security at risk.

He commented that the company’s rapid response and its stakeholders’ confidence in its abilities to rapidly restore production had served to calm the global market, and had if anything strengthened the company’s position vis a vis the planned IPO. The timing of the IPO is the decision of the shareholders, he said, adding that “the company is ready.”

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?