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Saudi Aramco Company’s Engineering Innovation and Ethics Report


Executive Summary

ARAMCO has been known as a very successful company operating in the oil industry for quite long. The company has been exploring new opportunities in obtaining crude oil that will help reduce the negative impact on the environment and at the same time, allow using the resources available to the maximum capacity. ARAMCO has been putting a very strong emphasis on the significance of its innovations as the primary tool for promoting the further growth of the organisation.

The emphasis on innovation as the corporate philosophy and the key principle that the firm’s operations and decisions are based on has created premises for progress in the identified organizational setting. As a result, the creative thought of its members has been encouraged extensively, which has led to a string of discoveries and innovative solutions in the designated realm.

The firm should be credited for maintaining the pace of its innovation process high. Delivering outstanding performance, ARAMCO has been engaging in the promotion of innovations across the company. The blend of innovation and ethics that the firm has been promoting as the current tendency in its operations should be viewed as the primary course of its further evolution.

When evaluating the significance of innovation as the foundation for the company’s choices, including the operational processes and the overall development, one must mention resbots as the crowning achievement of the firm.

The design of resbots is the pivotal point in the company’s progress, showcasing the company’s ability to produce innovative solutions. To date, the use of nano-agents as the means of exploring the properties of oil deposits and locating the means of obtaining oil from there remains the most efficient tool. More importantly, the creation of the nano-agents mentioned above has prompted a range of other solutions including nanotechnology that will help improve the overall quality of the end product and at the same time maintain the firm’s integrity by reducing the harm done to nature and people living in the vicinity.

Introduction

Saudi Arabia ARAMCO not only tops the charts of Saudi Arabia’s leading organizations in the oil industry but also is one of the world’s top successful companies. The organization has been operating in the environment of the global market since 1933 and has gained a reputation of the company that promotes technological innovation as the foundational tool for attaining high-quality rates (ARAMCO, 2016a). With a very tight focus on the search for innovative solutions, ARAMCO has been credited as one of the leading organizations in the oil industry. Its research has made it possible for the company to identify the engineering choices that allow meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved, including its customers, shareholders, the general audience, the state government, environmentalists, etc.

Therefore, by focusing on the nature of the firm’s innovations, in general, and its engineering breakthrough, in particular, one will be able to identify the pattern of its progress. The outcomes of the analysis will inform one about the means of staying relevant and up-to-date in the contemporary environment of the global economy. More importantly, it will show how to retain credibility in the target environment by promoting a consistent improvement in quality.

Finally, the issue regarding innovation, in general, needs to be brought up. There is no secret that an organization operating in the oil industry field needs to evolve consistently so that it could improve the quality of its performance and keep all stakeholders satisfied. Therefore, with the adoption of a range of innovative technological solutions, one will be capable of reducing the harm made to nature to a considerable degree and deliver the best outputs possible, as ARAMCO’s experience has shown.By identifying the patterns of the strategy that the entrepreneurship has developed to address the environmentalist issues, one will be capable of defining the sustainability approach that other organizations can also utilize to reduce the harm done.

The aim of the report, therefore, is to identify the innovative concepts that the entrepreneurship has produced. The subsequent evaluation of these innovations will allow identifying the company’s potential.

Recent Innovative Achievements of Saudi Arabia ARAMCO

Identifying the areas that the organization has attained the greatest success in so far, one must mention the field of nanotechnology. The agents that the organization has created to research oil deposits have broken new grounds in the industry. Specifically, the process of locating oil deposits and identifying the tools that can be used to obtain the resource has been improved significantly.

Another area that ARAMCO has been studying deeply, the concept of laser fingerprinting should be mentioned. Being the brainchild of ARAMCO’s R&D experts, the subject matter helps carry out the process of drilling with unparalleled precision and efficacy. The accuracy of the tool has set new quality standards in the industry, bringing ARAMCO to another stage of its development and heralding a new era in the oil industry. The peculiar detail about the innovation above is that it allows introducing the oil industry to the concept of sustainability and environmentalism:

The Research and Development Center (R&DC) has built a truly unique instrument, designed to identify oil with a laser. The laser excites the fluorescence spectra of oil within extremely short time frames – 2 to 5 nanoseconds. All the fluorescence data is coalesced, producing two-dimensional diagrams that serve as oil spectral fingerprints. It was designed and produced in Saudi Aramco’s R&DC. (Saudi Aramco – energy to the world, 2010, p. 21)

Particularly, the use of laser fingerprinting technology increases the precision of the related operations, thus, preventing oil spills. Therefore, one must give the company credit for preventing the drilling process from having deplorable effects on the environment. Although the increased precision of oil identification does not guarantee the subsequent impeccable retrieval of the resource, it still creates prerequisites for a safer drilling process.

GigaPOWERS is another essential innovative tool that ARAMCO has recently introduced to the oil industry to improve its score and enhance the process of oil extraction. In order to create models that represent the operation processes in reservoirs, the R&D Department of ARAMCO came up with the concept of GigaPOWERS, a simulation tool that designs models of oil reservoirs. Consequently, the prerequisites for improving the process of producing oil have been created. The tool is claimed to yield much more accurate images of the sites than the previous ones as the models created in the course of the simulation contain a larger number of cells than any of the previous devices could provide (Saudi Aramco unveils GigaPOWERS, 2010).

Apart from GigaPOWERS, the company has been working on a range of technological advances that are likely to help it reinvent the field of oil production. According to the recent records, ARAMCO has been exploring its opportunities in downstream with its recent concept of SmartWater Flooding. The subject matter is defined as the approach that is aimed at increasing the percentage of oil extraction from carbonate reservoirs. By definition, the tool above is bound to lead to a rapid rise in the volume of oil extracted from the above reservoirs by “tuning the ions of the injected water” (Maitland, 2016, par. 5). In other words, the process of recovering oil from the carbonate rocks becomes much more efficient.

One must admit, though, that the approach designed by ARAMCO is far from being flawless. Currently, at the stage of development, it still needs further improvements. It is highly likely that the promotion of the SmartWater Flooding concept will require that the entrepreneurship should overcome a range of obstacles on its way to promoting changes in the oil industry, in general, and the oil extraction process, in particular. Nevertheless, the research carried out in the designated area has proven that the current approach can, in fact, be improved significantly: “A recent trend in chalk reservoirs has shown that seawater depleted in NaCl can even be a “smarter” fluid compared to the ordinary seawater as the incremental recovery of 10% of OOIP was recorded in relative to seawater injection” (Awolayo, Sarma, & AlSumaiti, 2014).

Therefore, ARAMCO has gone a long way from a minor company to huge entrepreneurship that defines the further course of the industry’s evolution. The firm has introduced a range of changes to the oil industry realm, thus, changing its landscape significantly. Moreover, its engineering innovations are currently affecting the process of oil extraction and processing.

Saudi Arabia ARAMCO: Resbots Breaking New Grounds in Upstreaming

Although ARAMCO evidently keeps its focus on the production processes, the R&D issue and especially the pursuit of innovative solutions in the designated area has not slipped the attention of the company leaders, either. According to the recent update on the company’s website, the entrepreneurship is currently seeking the ways of improving the up- and downstream processes by integrating the principles of operational reliability into the current design thereof: “We operate three research centres (RCs) in the United States to support our innovation-oriented culture as well an energy research, technology development, and upstream and downstream operational reliability” ( ARAMCO, 2016b, para. 1).

As a result of its focus on nanotechnology, the organization has come up with the solution that was defined as the technology of tomorrow (Nano resbots: Navigating the reservoirs of tomorrow, 2010, par. 5) by modern media. One of the first entrepreneurship to explore the properties and adopt the use of resbot sensors, the organization literally heralded a new era in oil production. Resbots are translated as reservoir robots and can be defined as nanomachines for reservoir mapping. They are suggested to be used as the means of identifying the material that they contact with (i.e., water, hydrogen sulphides, crude oil, etc.) as well as locating the environmental conditions in a particular area (EXPEC Advanced Research Center, 2009).

The significance of nanomachines as the tool for improving the quality of the production process can hardly be overrated. Seeing that the specified devices are of microscopic size, they can be applied to literally any environment and, therefore, serve as the means of probing the areas that would have been inaccessible otherwise. The very idea of using nanorobots as the tools for researching the properties of specific areas was, in fact, inspired by the properties of oil deposits. Since the latter are represented by solid mass with tiny pores in it, which oil travels through, the process of retrieving the resource from its deposit is beyond painstaking.

The application of nanorobots, in its turn, permits a detailed analysis of the area with a concise yet essential information regarding the possible obstacles in the process, the components of the area, the tools to use in order to retrieve the resource from its deposit, etc. It is also essential that nanorobots can be injected into the reservoir by travelling in water (EXPEC Advanced Research Center, 2009). As a result, the devices under analysis can infiltrate practically any environment and conduct an analysis of the components of the deposit under any circumstances.

Also referred to as geophysical nanorobots due to their contact with and the exploration of soil and its properties, the devices are constructed in a rather intricate manner despite their extraordinarily small size. As the sketch provided above (Fig. 1) shows, a nanorobot includes the elements such as propulsion devices allowing it to move in the environment of an oil deposit, a processor performing the analysis of the soil components, a radio frequency transmitted serving as the means of data transfer, and a sensor that helps locate the required substances.

Geophysical nanorobot.
Figure 1. Geophysical nanorobot (a sectional view) (Sectional view of a geophysical nanorobot, 2013).

The significance of the reservoir nano-agents mentioned above is ample. According to the description provided by ARAMCO’s experts in nanotechnology, the nano-agents will help identify the properties such as the pressure within the reservoirs, the type of fluid and its temperature, etc. As a result, extensive data necessary for the collection of oil can be provided to the company. Due to the extraordinarily small size of the new devices (1/1000th size of a human hair, according to the official statement made by the company (EXPEC Advanced Research Center, 2009), they can penetrate oil deposits despite the porous structure thereof, which contains microscopic orifices.

More importantly, the recent modification of resbots has created prerequisites for altering the properties of reservoirs. While the modifications of the kind used to be impossible previously, they have become a reality at present. Thus, new opportunities for locating oil deposits with high precision and retrieving it in a manner as harmless to the environment and as efficient to the company as possible have emerged.

Moreover, the focus on nanotechnology as the area for the company to explore has led to the design of nano-based drilling fluids (EXPEC Advanced Research Center, 2009). The substances above permit the study of the areas that used to be unreachable for oil companies. Consequently, an adequate use of exhaustive resources, especially oil, has been created. Apart from opening new horizons for the entrepreneurship in terms of improving its efficacy, resbots may serve as the means of introducing a more sustainable use of the existing oil deposits.

By putting a very strong emphasis on the nanotechnological advances, ARAMCO creates the foundation for its further stellar success. While the rest of companies still rely on the traditional technology, ARAMCO makes a giant leap on the way to technological progress by enhancing its R&D processes. Therefore, it can be assumed that the firm promotes innovation on the engineering level, thus, creating premises for its further success.

Diffusion, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

By definition, the concept of diffusion implies that an organization should be able to promote a particular concept in the target market in order to attract the target denizens of the population and gain even more credibility.

ARAMCO has been diffusing its innovations in the target market quite efficiently so far. From the international perspective, the approaches that ARAMCO adopts to integrate into the environment of the global economy successfully can be deemed as rather reasonable. Instead of forcing its way into the designated realm, the corporation combines two rather unobtrusive techniques. Particularly, the firm establishes itself as innovative and full of ideas in the target environment, at the same time making it evident that it supports multiculturalism as the pathway to essential R&D processes and the subsequent groundbreaking discoveries.

The readiness of the company to cooperate with the representatives of foreign entrepreneurship makes it one of the most influential enterprises in the industry. As a result, the statements that it makes in the target field, including the R&D-related ones, are taken with great attention. Thus, the process of the diffusion of the firm’s innovative solutions into the global market is facilitated.

Cross-Cultural Awareness

Operating in the environment of global economy requires communicating with people belonging to different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Correspondingly, it is essential that entrepreneurship working in the designated realm should promote the principles of multiculturalism and cross-cultural awareness among its members to avoid the threat of a culture clash or any other misunderstanding. The managers at ARAMCO have been reinforcing the significance of the concept in question by offering the staff a range of negotiation and conflict mitigation strategies.

On the one hand, the importance of cross-cultural awareness might seem minor in the realm of the oil industry. The processes involved, such as up- and downstreaming, do not seem to involve a large number of interactions between people of different cultures and, therefore, does not imply the problems related to intercultural communication. On the other hand, the consistent growth that the entrepreneurship is experiencing and the subsequent expansion into different markets demands that the corporation should consider different communication tools to get essential messages across to its target customers and the representatives of the company abroad.

This is the point at which the firm’s ability to encourage multiculturalism factors in. Although focusing primarily on technology, ARAMCO also promotes efficacy in multicultural communication, putting a very strong emphasis on the significance of negotiation. In fact, the firm considers it one of its most important conflict resolution tools. The adoption of tolerance and negotiation as the cornerstones of communication between cultures at ARAMCO, the company creates premises for an outstandingly successful cross-cultural communication process.

Engineer as an Innovator

In ARAMCO, engineers are provided with enough room for creativity. By offering its staff ample opportunities to excel in the designated area, the entrepreneurship prompts their creative thinking. As a result, engineers take an active part in the process of promoting innovation in the company.

Particularly, the promotion of innovative approaches that the entrepreneurship is currently relying on has made it possible for the company to break new grounds in not only the area of oil extraction but also the realm of corporate sustainability. Indeed, a closer look at the subject matter will show that the innovative technological tools used by the firm allow for a significant reduction of the harm done to the environment, in general, and people’s health, in particular. Therefore, the innovative approaches suggested by the engineers working at ARAMCO create prerequisites for a more sustainable approach to the oil extraction process.

In other words, the role of an innovator is one of the crucial aspects of an engineer’s operations in the ARAMCO organization. Although sustaining the current system and making sure that it provides impeccable outcomes on all stages of its operation is an important part of an engineer’s job in the target company. However, it is the ability to consider the future threats and opportunities that makes the work of an engineer at ARAMCO so complex and challenging.

Circumstances Hindering and Facilitating Innovation in ARAMCO

Being ahead of a range of companies in the market as competitive as that one of oil production is beyond challenging. However facing tough competition is a moderate challenge compared to the threat of being ousted from the market by safer resources due to the safety issues.

However, ARAMCO has been displaying an impressive resilience to the negative factors preventing its growth. Using the culture of safety as the key tool in enhancing innovation processes in its setting, ARAMCO has gained the reputation of a formidable competitor among its rivals.

It should be noted that maintaining safety rates high is not easy for a company operating in the oil industry. Seeing that the process of oil extraction implies a certain amount of damage to the environment, it is expected that people should choose other options of energy retrieval than the extraction of oil. As a result, a significant drop in the demand for oil can be expected.

The reduction in the number of customers, in its turn, is likely to affect the revenues of the entrepreneurship. As a result, the resources that the firm identifies as the financial support for research and development will shrink significantly. The drop in funding, in its turn, will have a largely negative impact on the quality of research, the precision of the outcomes, the significance of results, and the efficacy of recommendations.

 

Engineering Innovation Processes: A Summary.
Engineering Innovation Processes: A Summary (the Diagrammatic Model) (Kamal, Sanni, & Kanj, 2010).

Challenges

Locating the latest data concerning the company’s progress was the key challenge. It was necessary to consider both the company’s reports and the information available in media. Although the information regarding the performance of the entrepreneurship cannot be technically considered as classified, locating the exact data regarding the firm’s technology, innovative practices, and other data included in its financial statement was rather difficult. Nevertheless, a combined analysis of the existing information represented by the organization and the company assessment carried out at the corresponding trustworthy sites was incorporated into the evaluation process.

Furthermore, the veracity of the information retrieved had to be evaluated. Seeing that not all pieces of data retrieved in the course of the analysis was received from the official website of the entrepreneurship, the necessity to identify the sources used for the assessment and define their credibility emerged. However, after a close evaluation thereof, it became obvious that the information represented in the corresponding databases could be deemed as credible.

Finally, the identification of the scale of the company’s innovations should be viewed as an impressive challenge. In the wake of the technological breakthrough, the significance of a range of technological advances made by businesses is often downplayed as it is taken for granted. Therefore, it was crucial to make sure that the firm’s progress a far as its technology is concerned is assessed properly and that the entrepreneurship should be given credit for its evolution.

Recommendations

It is strongly recommended that the organization should consider the idea of lean management as the primary tool for costs management. Thus, it will be possible to invest in R&D and reinforce its further development. Consequently, the company will be able to evolve.

The issue regarding the identification of the financing sources may become a problem. At this point, the issue of sustainability brought up above needs to be mentioned one more. Although typically linked to the concept of environmentalism, the phenomenon of sustainability may be introduced to the firm’s financial strategy as the tool for allocating costs and using resources as sparingly and efficiently as possible.

The phenomenon of lean management factors in the specified idea as the primary tool for leading the entrepreneurship toward a more reasonable manner of using the resources available. As soon as the company accepts the concept of lean management as the means of using the resources available to their maximum capacity, the firm will be able to sustain the current technological progress.

Competencies

The research experience has provided me with a plethora of essential information and opportunities for training skills. Particularly, I have learned to carry out an assessment of an organization’s innovativeness. Measuring the progress may be tricky as there are no rigid standards for it. Thus, it is necessary to make comparisons to the previous state of the firm and its technology to the current one, locating the differences and identifying the areas that need further improvements. Moreover, it is crucial to track down the latest trends in the industry, applying them to the target environment.

Moreover, I have found out about the tools that can be used to support innovations in a company. Promoting technological progress in an organization is a complicated task that needs an elaborate use of the existing resources and a well thought out strategy of spurring initiative among the company members, particularly, the employees in the R&D department. Therefore, the significance of managing the human resources in an appropriate manner as a tool for enhancing progress has also become obvious to me.

Conclusion

With a very close focus on R&D and the development of a range of innovative approaches to both up- and downstreaming, ARAMCO pushes the envelope of technological development in oil industry. The emphasis on nanotechnology as the next step in the development of the oil extraction process has made it possible for the entrepreneurship to enter a new era of development and become even more powerful.

The significance of engineering is huge to ARAMCO as it serves as the foundation for creating a unique approach to the oil extraction process. Although the very industry implies a significant damage to the environment, the tools that ARAMCO uses and develops to update its production processes permits reducing the harm to nature and people.

As long as ARAMCO maintains its R&D processes it is likely to remain successful in the target area. Thus, it is imperative that the focus on R&D should remain strong. For these purposes, the significance of engineering must be consistently high.

Reference List

ARAMCO. (2016a). Our history. Web.

ARAMCO. (2016b). Our research centers. Web.

Awolayo, A., Sarma, H., & AlSumaiti, A. M. (2014). A laboratory study of ionic effects of smart water for enhancing oil recovery in carbonate reservoirs. Web.

EXPEC Advanced Research Center. (2009). Developing technical solutions to upstream challenges. Web.

Kamal, R. A., Sanni, M. L., & Kanj, M. Y. (2010). . Web.

Maitland, R. (2016). . Web.

. (2010). Web.

Saudi Aramco – energy to the world. (2010). Web.

. (2010). Web.

Sectional view of a geophysical nanorobot. (2013). Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 10). Saudi Aramco Company's Engineering Innovation and Ethics. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/saudi-aramco-companys-engineering-innovation-and-ethics/

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"Saudi Aramco Company's Engineering Innovation and Ethics." IvyPanda, 10 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/saudi-aramco-companys-engineering-innovation-and-ethics/.

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IvyPanda. "Saudi Aramco Company's Engineering Innovation and Ethics." September 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/saudi-aramco-companys-engineering-innovation-and-ethics/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Saudi Aramco Company's Engineering Innovation and Ethics." September 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/saudi-aramco-companys-engineering-innovation-and-ethics/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Saudi Aramco Company's Engineering Innovation and Ethics'. 10 September.

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