A year of collaboration between Saudi Aramco, Huawei, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) has resulted in the establishment of the Huawei Oil and Gas Joint Innovation Center at Dhahran Techno Valley (DTV).
The center was inaugurated recently in the presence of Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco; Abdulaziz A. Al Abdulkarim, then-vice president of Saudi Aramco’s Information Technology; HE Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, Rector of KFUPM; Yan Lida, president of Huawei's Enterprise Business Group; and Dr. Martin Jischke, chairman of the International Advisory Board and president emeritus at Purdue University. Attendees also included other senior executives and professionals from Saudi Aramco, KFUPM, and partner companies such as SAP, Honeywell, and Yokogawa.
Coming at a critical time
Al-Sultan noted that the inauguration of the center comes at a critical time.
“As everyone knows, over the coming decades, the world will continue to rely heavily on large-scale supplies of oil and gas. As the industry moves on to more and more difficult oil and gas deposits, the pace of technological progress will need to accelerate significantly if past production trends are to be maintained. So, decisions related to petroleum exploration and production are increasingly becoming very complex because of the high number of issues involved in the process,” he said. “Facing these challenges requires advanced information, data processing, and computational systems that preserve the geological, technical, and economic parameters that can facilitate the purposes of performance analysis and minimize risks in the execution of petroleum exploration and production projects. This is where comes from the importance of establishing the Huawei center in DTV.”
Meeting industry expectations
The mission of this center was highlighted by Huawei’s Yan Lida, who said that “by jointly working with the world's leading company, Saudi Aramco, and top university, KFUPM, and other partners, the Joint Innovation Center is committed to providing information and communication technologies for the oil and gas industry based on Huawei technologies and our global partners' expertise to meet customer requirements."
Al Abdulkarim said he appreciated the achievement and expressed the high expectations of the center.
“This innovation center we are opening today will join 31 other centers that Huawei has across the world, but this differs in its focus toward delivering information and communications technology solutions for the oil and gas industry. I believe that this center is strategically positioned to achieve that goal, here in Dhahran Techno Valley,” he said. “This is a fertile environment for the exchange of technology and business ideas, crossing diverse industrial divides, to deliver solutions that address current and future challenges. With the addition of Huawei, a new dimension is being added to further diversify the expertise available in DTV. I believe that this should advance technology collaboration and integrate communication and computing capabilities into product development by DTV partners.”
The ceremony also included participation from technology partners. Ahmed J. Al-Faifi, CEO of SAP Saudi Arabia, spoke about SAP, and Yiannis Bessiris from Honeywell presented a session titled “IT Megatrends Are Impacting Operational Excellence Strategies: Are We Ready?”
The ceremony concluded with a tour of the center and its labs. These labs have been built to focus on technologies of significant relevance to Saudi Aramco, including the Digital Oil Field, Mobility, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and High Performance Computing labs.
Those attending left the event eager to witness the first patent fostered in the new Huawei Oil and Gas Joint Innovation Center.
Photo caption: Members of Saudi Aramco management visit one of several labs at the new Huawei Oil and Gas Joint Innovation Center at Dhahran Techno Valley. The labs have been built to focus on technologies of significant relevance to Saudi Aramco, including Digital Oil Field, Mobility, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and High Performance Computing labs.