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Talking tech with Halliburton


HE Khaled S. Al-Sultan speaks during the opening session of Halliburton’s annual Technology Council meeting in Dhahran Techno Valley.


Saudi Aramco’s aspiration to create an innovation culture, where researchers create game-changing technologies that meet the specific challenges of the Kingdom’s rich natural resources, provided the backdrop for a gathering of senior technology leaders at Halliburton’s annual Technology Council meeting at the Dhahran Techno Valley (DTV).

The council is a gathering of the directors of Halliburton’s 14 research labs around the world, and this was the first time the council had met in Saudi Arabia.

The gathering, held at DTV’s Innovation Center on the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) campus, was attended by KFUPM Rector and Saudi Aramco Board of Directors member HE Khaled S. Al-Sultan, Halliburton’s vice president of Technology Greg Powers, Saudi Aramco’s Northern Area Oil Operations vice president Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and EXPEC ARC manager Ali A. Al-Meshari, along with Halliburton’s research directors and other dignitaries.

Magnet for innovative ideas

At the council’s opening session, Al-Sultan welcomed Halliburton’s technology directors and praised the company for being one of the first major oil services companies to locate a major research center at the DTV campus in Dhahran. Dhahran is fast taking its place as a magnet for innovative ideas, Al-Sultan said, noting that KFUPM recorded 115 patents last year — ranking 14th in the world among universities. In such a fertile intellectual environment, Halliburton’s collaboration with KFUPM and Saudi Aramco researchers can contribute to a broader “innovative ecosystem” in the Kingdom.

A valued partner

In his welcoming remarks, Al-Naimi noted that Saudi Aramco and Halliburton have collaborated for more than 80 years to find technology solutions for exploring and developing the world’s largest oil reserves. He then laid out a number of current challenges the company faces as it ventures into new tight gas fields, while maintaining production in more mature conventional fields.

“As Saudi Aramco’s operations have grown in size and complexity, Halliburton has been with us as a valued partner in building the world-leading oil industry we see today,” Al-Naimi said. “With our industry facing so many shared challenges, it makes sense for us to work together to find solutions. This level of collaboration is long-standing for Halliburton and Saudi Aramco, and our success in many areas, including fracturing, completions and many others, shows the benefit of working together.”

Al-Meshari welcomed the Halliburton research directors and gave a brief snapshot of some of the innovative solutions that EXPEC ARC scientists are exploring to meet the company’s upstream challenges in the field.

“We are blessed with natural resources,” Al-Meshari said. “But these resources mean nothing without the people to manage them, and they cannot be developed without technology. Together, Saudi Aramco and its partners are creating innovations that increase hydrocarbon discovery, increase recovery, and ensure that long-term development of these resources are cost-effective. Collaboration between Saudi Aramco, KFUPM, and Halliburton is crucial.

Technology tour

Following the opening session, Saudi Aramco opened its doors to the Halliburton research directors, giving them a close-up look at its own upstream research activities in the labs of EXPEC ARC and the Geosteering Center. The research directors also visited the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology in Thuwal, where Saudi Aramco has created a research center to collaborate on major upstream challenges.

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