13 October 2012

Saudi Aramco opens satellite research office at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands

10 October 2012 - Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih officially opened the first Saudi Aramco satellite research office Sept. 21 at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The inauguration is a major milestone as it marks the first of several satellite research centers (SRCs) set to open worldwide.

To better leverage global scientific expertise and strengthen collaboration in providing solutions to Saudi Aramco research and technology challenges, the EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) and the Research and Development Center (R&DC) are expanding their presence internationally by establishing SRCs in strategic locations around the world. These centers will increase access to talent and technology abroad and promote closer collaboration with key research institutions. 

“Saudi Aramco and TU Delft have a long-standing partnership stemming from our support of innovative postdoctoral and collaborative research related to oil and gas technical challenges,” said Al-Falih.

“We are delighted to strengthen and deepen this partnership with TU Delft through the establishment of this first satellite office, and we continue to augment our position with additional leading institutions throughout the world to leverage specialized research niches,” Al-Falih said. 

The center at TU Delft concentrates on geophysics research in near surface characterization and data-driven seismic processing and is one of two Saudi Aramco embedded research groups that are closely aligned with universities.

The second group at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), undertakes projects related to biocapture, robotics, fuel technology, chemicals, membranes and advanced materials. 

Five additional stand-alone research centers also are well under way. The second technology office, located in Aberdeen, Scotland, is nearing completion and will handle partnerships, collaboration and other business functions largely related to production and drilling technologies. 

A center in Houston will span all upstream disciplines. Houston is a major hub for oil and gas research and development (R&D) activities and is near chemical and oil field fluids manufacturers. It is also close to service companies' R&D labs, as well as top petroleum engineering universities. 

A stand-alone center is also under way in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adjacent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to support computational reservoir modeling, nanotechnology and advanced gas membrane systems. This center will host EXPEC ARC and R&DC teams alike. 

The center in Beijing will emphasize research in reservoir and production chemistry as well as geophysics.

A southeast Michigan center will focus on carbon capture from mobile sources and fuel technology research, and the Fuel Technology Team — in collaboration with leading research organizations — will be conducting joint research on fuel and engine development in Paris. 

All centers are expected to be fully operational in 2013

Source: Saudi Aramco