ISSN 2330-717X

How Aramco Got Us In Trouble – OpEd


By Abdulla Al Alami


Our national achievements records show that we owe our development to that industrial, rebellious and tireless institution lying on the banks of the Arabian Gulf.

Saudi Aramco’s achievements during the last 20 years, has by far exceeded all expectations.

Once in a while, Aramco’s men and women get us into hot water for very obvious reasons. Many of their achievements can be visibly seen in both upstream and downstream operations in many parts of the country. The company’s successful negotiations with major international institutions are yet another example of implementing the corporate vision to “secure energy for future generations.” This vision resulted in major economic and social achievements. Aramco’s has a simple commitment: To remain the world leader in the production of petroleum-based energy. Aramco also believes that it can make a difference wherever it does business by investing in innovation and entrepreneurship, creating educational opportunities, powering economic progress, increasing environmental awareness. I wish the business community “outside the fence” learns how to draw similar visions.

Aramco’s relative advantage is forcing us to cope with the predicament of having to catch up with these achievements. I am talking about the level of controlled and calculated spending, quality of performance, and meeting deadlines for the completion of small and large projects.

Aramco got us in trouble when we could not match its employees walking into their offices very early in the morning while we are still dragging our feet usually after eighth o’clock, to start the day by munching on egg sandwiches and sipping hot tea.


Aramco got us into trouble when the company constructed huge and modern industrial cities in the middle of the desert and under the roar of waves of the Gulf, while we have been pointing fingers at each other for the unprofessional manner in which we built a simple bridge.

Aramco got us into trouble when it partnered with specialized international companies to implement its objectives of exploring, producing, refining and marketing oil and gas, while we are still wrestling with construction companies to execute simple contracts.

Aramco was able to construct and manage “KAUST,” an international research institution which brought top brains of women and men from well-known universities worldwide to the shores of a little village called Thule. Aramco got us into trouble by insisting on preserving the country’s resources, and more importantly preserving work ethics among its employees.

When the world was suffering from financial crises and unemployment, Aramco was busy setting up several financial outfits for the conservation, management and investment of company funds. Furthermore, Aramco managed to contract with many professional companies for the construction, design and engineering of projects which recruited thousands of employees.

Aramco created a predicament when it completed giant industrial projects based on international criteria and serious deadlines, while we still suffer from engineering faults in tunnels, bridges and roads even before they were completed. Aramco got us in trouble when it was able to Saudize 90 percent of its employees, while Saudization does not exceed 10 percent in the private sector.

Let me make sure to mention it is not all glorious and rosy. Aramco still needs to unlock the potential of many of its employees. There are complaints that the company may be responsible for not providing the fuel necessary to run certain factories in many parts in the country. There is also the ongoing argument between Aramco and the municipality over lifting or not, regarding the reservations of areas of land.

Tweet: A neutral point of view avoids presenting uncontested assertions as mere opinion.

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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