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Table of Contents


Presidents Foreword


Environmental Recognition

Environmental Technology


Environmental Awareness


Environmental Performance Assessments


Air Quality


Marine Protection


Groundwater Protection


Solid Waste Management


Wastewater Treatment & Reuse


Oil Spill Preparedness


Carbon Management Efforts


Industrial Hygiene Program


Environmental Health Program


Radiation Protection


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

It is with pleasure and gratitude that we

present this booklet to our valued guests.
It contains an overview of various Saudi
Aramco environmental protection programs.
The contents highlight the Companys
environmental efforts and initiatives over
the past several decades.
These efforts contribute to the protection
of the Kingdoms environment and precious
natural resources along with promoting
environmental stewardship and awareness.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco has maintained a high level of
environmental responsibility since its earliest
days. The Companys first formal policy statement
on environmental protection was issued in 1963.
Over the years, the policy has been revised
several times to reflect the latest environmental
developments. The policy established a strong
mandate from which essential environmental
programs can be derived.
Todays environmental programs focus on
environmental challenges such as clean fuels and
carbon management, air and water quality, waste
management, marine studies, environmental
health, radiation protection, oil spill preparedness
and other operational aspects.
Saudi Aramcos extensive environmental master
plan, accompanied by several environmental
assessment and monitoring programs, aim to
further enhance environmental management

Saudi Aramco does not limit its environmental

stewardship activities within the perimeters
of its facilities. The Company has an extensive
history of promoting environmental awareness
to employees and their families, the general
public, and other local industries, with the
aim of enhancing environmental knowledge
and maturity towards a more environmentally
responsible culture.
Environmental education initiatives, local
industry environmental awareness workshops,
municipalities and mangrove transplantation
are some examples of environmental outreach
activities supporting the aim of enhancing
environmental knowledge and maturity.
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
represents the corporate authority to administer
and facilitate environmental stewardship. EPD
is proud to highlight a brief of the activities
that support this important corporate culture
of responsible environmental stewardship; one
pursued diligently for more than seven decades.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Continually enhancing environmental performance
and protection while meeting dramatically growing
world energy demand is a major focus of the global
petroleum industry. Protecting the environment
is not only a moral duty for energy providers, its
also a sound economic choice and good business
Saudi Aramcos commitment to environmental
sustainability provides our customer base with
secure, reliable and safe energy supplies, and
assurance of our dedication to minimizing the
environmental footprint of our operations and
From our earliest days, Saudi Aramco established
a pioneering environmental policy and a
fundamental commitment to safeguard public
health and the environment. This vision is not
limited to managing our facilities in a manner
that protects the environment and assures human
health and safety; it also involves enhancing quality
of life in the communities where Saudi Aramco

tools; forging new partnerships; and conducting

energy-efficient operations. Our commitment to
these solutions lets us meet our dual responsibility
to both economic and ecological sustainability.
Saudi Aramcos core mission is to provide affordable,
reliable energy to the world. In other words, our
business ultimately is about improving the quality
of human life through energy, and using precious
natural resources responsibly, preserving them for
future generations.
I am pleased to present this booklet as an overview
of Saudi Aramcos historic and ongoing commitment
to the twin goals of exemplary environmental
stewardship while delivering the energy that fuels
economic growth and greater prosperity around
the world.

Saudi Aramcos response to the global energy

challenge is to fuel economic and social progress
while leading innovation to make our petroleum
greener and cleaner. Our R&D focus is yielding
tremendous advances, including technological
breakthroughs to optimize oil and gas discovery
and recovery; develop clean fuel technologies;
increase energy efficiency; and reduce emissions.
To achieve these ambitious targets, Saudi Aramco is
investing in cutting-edge research, technologies and

Khalid A. Al-Falih
President and Chief Executive Officer

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco is the national oil Company of Saudi Arabia. It is
entrusted with managing the Kingdoms natural hydrocarbon (oil and
gas) assets. The Companys environmental efforts include protecting
the Kingdoms environment and responsibly managing the oil and
gas resources.
The Companys effort is intended to achieve the
following corporate objectives:
1 Protecting and promoting the wellbeing of both
workers and community residents
2 E ncouraging environmental education and advancing
environmental awareness Kingdom wide

 inimizing the Companys environmental impact by

3 M
maximizing its environmental performance
4 E
 nsuring compliance with the Kingdoms
environmental regulations and standards
5 Protecting the Kingdoms natural resources
6 Advocating the Companys point of view in designing
international environmental policies and regulations

Historical Background
Saudi Aramcos first formal Company Policy
Statement regarding pollution prevention of
coastal waters was issued in 1963. The Companys
first environmental entity was created during
the same year with five professionals dedicated
to both environmental and industrial hygiene
related work.
The Saudi Arabian government instituted the
Meteorological and Environmental Protection
Administration chartered with environmental
protection in 1982. Today it is known as The
Presidency of Meteorology and Environment

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

In July 1991, the President and Chief Executive

Officer of Saudi Aramco, Ali Al-Naimi, signed a
Company-wide environmental protection policy.
This policy was re-issued in 1999. The re-issued
policy was more comprehensive and addressed
emerging environmental challenges.

Saudi Aramcos policy reaffirms that the Companys

operations do not create undue risks to the
environment or public health. This policy specifies
the Companys measures to protect the land, air,
and water from harmful pollution.

Saudi Aramco Policy Statement regarding pollution prevention of

coastal waters was issued in 1963

Saudi Aramco Environmental Protection Policy was re-issued in


The environmental unit of five professionals,

established nearly five decades ago, has grown
as the Company expanded its operations. During
the same period, environmental regulations
evolved and public environmental awareness
has improved, while environmental issues have
become more complex.

In 1998, Saudi Aramco created the Environmental

Protection Department (EPD), which covers a wide
range of environmental disciplines, with over
(130) specialized professionals. EPD is responsible
for providing comprehensive environmental
leadership throughout the Company starting
with Company facilities which are built according
to corporate environmental standards. EPD acts
as the focal point of contact for environmental
matters with all outside organizations which
include governmental agencies, national and
international industry, professional institutions,
and national and international technical and
regulatory organizations.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Environmental engineering standards, procedures

and general instructions were developed for
use during the operation and maintenance of
Company facilities. Specific monitoring and
inspection programs were also developed to ensure
that environmental requirements are observed
Company wide. These included the Environmental
where each facility periodically undergoes a
comprehensive environmental assessment.
In 2001, the Company introduced an extensive
Environmental Master Plan, which identified
large capital projects that will bring additional
environmental enhancements to Saudi Aramcos
air emissions controls, wastewater discharges,
and waste management. In addition, as the
sole supplier of fuels to the Kingdom, the plan
includes projects to produce cleaner gasoline
and diesel fuels to reduce urban pollution. The
Environmental Master Plan is a dynamic process
which automatically allows capital projects to
be added, wherever the need arises, to meet
environmental requirements.

Saudi Aramco, a world leader in environmental

protection, continues to improve its environmental
management approach using the latest
technologies and best industry practices. One
example is the annual Presidents Environmental
Stewardship Award given to Company
organizations for environmental achievement. The
award is based on environmental performance,
compliance, environmental awareness activities
and new initiatives adopted by each organization.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco, the national oil Company of Saudi Arabia, is entrusted
with managing the Kingdoms natural hydrocarbon (oil and gas)
assets. The Companys environmental efforts include protecting the
Kingdoms environment and responsibly managing the oil and gas

National Oil Companies Award - 2006

In 2006, during the Fourth NOC Forum held in
Dhahran, Saudi Aramco received the National Oil
Company (NOC) First Environmental Stewardship
The award was for the Laser-Based Oil
Fingerprinting of Crude Oils project. Saudi
Aramco and King Fahd University of Petroleum
and Minerals patented this laser-based system
for oil spill finger printing. It is a cost-effective,
nondestructive technique to positively identify oil
spills in few minutes.
This achievement is a reflection of Saudi Aramcos
focus on technology and environmental
protection. It confirms the benefits of cooperation
with leading universities and research institutions.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Best Company in Environment Award

In 2005, Saudi Aramco was the winner of the
Best Company in Environment award during
the Pipeline Magazines Excellence in Energy
The award recognizes the Companys outstanding
achievements and contributions toward protecting
the regions environment.

National Oil Companies Award - 2008

In 2008, Saudi Aramco was awarded the second
National Oil Companies (NOC) Environmental
Stewardship Award for its groundbreaking
research on Electron Beam Flue Gas Treatment
(EBFGT) technology. For the first time, EBFGT
has been successfully demonstrated on
removing air pollutants from liquid fuel fired
boiler flue gas.

Mr. Salim Al-Aydh, Sr. VP, Engineering & Project Management

receiving the Best Company in Environment Award during the
2005 Pipeline Magazines Excellence in Energy Award ceremony

Mr. Hesham Al-Musaiid, EPD Manager receiving the NOC

Environmental Award from Mr. Wang Tianpu, President of

Environmental Stewardship Excellence Award

In 2010, Saudi Aramco was the winner of the
Environmental Stewardship Excellence Award
hosted by the Middle East Excellence Awards

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Recognition

In 2003, Saudi Aramcos efforts in the area of
environmental protection were recognized by
the GCC General Secretariat. The Company was
honored with the Gulf Cooperation Council
Award for its outstanding performance in the
Environmental Awareness field.

environmental stewardship and its efforts to
encourage environmental sustainability within
the community.

Mr. Khalid Abuleif, EPD representative receiving the Environmental

Stewardship Excellence Award from H.E. Saeed Al Tayer, Managing
Director and CEO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)


The American Academy of Environmental

Engineers Award
In 1999, the Company received an award of
Excellence in Environmental Engineering from The
American Academy of Environmental Engineers
(AAEE) for its Master Plan for Industrial Waste
Management., in addition to being recognized
by the AEEE for its Waste Minimization Program
for Significant and Sustained Contributions for
the Excellence in Environmental Engineering.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

New York Film Festival Silver World Medal

In 1999, The Land of Khuzama, a fully animated
childrens educational film received the Silver
World Medal at the prestigious New York Film
Festival competition. The 26-minute film, produced
in English and Arabic, highlighted environmental
issues important to Saudi Arabia.

National Commission for Wildlife Conservation

and Development
In 1995, the National Commission for Wildlife
Conservation (currently The Saudi Commission for
Wildlife Conservation) recognized Saudi Aramcos
environmental stewardship efforts to minimize
the potential environmental impacts on the AlHawtah Ibex Reserve.


Arab League
In 1998, the Arab League awarded the Company
an Integrated Environmental Management and
Development of Coastal Areas appreciation
certificate for the development of Biotope
Maps of the Western Arabian Gulf. These
biotope maps were a product of partnership
between Saudi Aramco and King Fahad
University of Petroleum & Minerals Research
This project was initiated in 1984 and has
provided a wealth of information regarding
the Arabian Gulfs marine ecology.

The National Commission for Wildlife

Conservation (currently The Saudi
Commission for Wildlife Conservation)
recognized Saudi Aramcos environmental
stewardship efforts


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Advanced technology development provides a cost effective path to
achieve environmental protection goals. In 2001, the Environmental
Control and Remediation Technology (EC&RT) Focus Team was
established. EC&RT goals help the development of environmental
control technologies and incorporate newly developed ones.
The objective of the EC&RT team is to ensure
that Saudi Aramco is a regional leader in the
use, adaptation and development of new
and innovative approaches to environmental
management. This team includes professionals from
various environmental disciplines and operating
facilities to facilitate and promote environmental
technology usage within the Company.
The EC&RT team focuses on six key environmental
areas that are critical to the Companys long-term
environmental performance, which advocates
development and usage of technological solutions
in the areas of:

These key target areas expand into more

specific technology development priorities
which include:
 educing Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrous Dioxide
Treating and disposing of oily wastes in a costeffective manner
Reducing the costs from industrial wastewater
discharge regulations
Protecting and restoring groundwater resources

1 Air Quality

Handling and disposing of Naturally Occurring

Radioactive Materials (NORM)

2 Industrial Wastewater

Detecting oil spills

3 Marine Environment

Real-time monitoring of the marine environment

4 Solid and Hazardous Wastes

Treating and disposing off-shore drilling wastes

and produced water

5 Radiation Protection
Abandoning off-shore structures and pipelines
6 Site Remediation


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Furthermore, the Company continues to evaluate

technology initiatives related to each target area.
Some examples of technology initiatives in the
various environmental areas are:

Waste Management
Bioreactor Treatment of Oily Waste
This technology was evaluated as a potential
alternative to land farming. Several oily waste
streams were treated in a pilot-scale bioreactor.
The results indicated that bioreactor treatment
was more effective and faster than land farming.
This treatment approach can also reduce risks to
workers health and avoid contamination of land
with oily wastes.
To promote the local economy, the Environmental
Protection Department (EPD) developed and
facilitated an arrangement allowing conveyance of
technical know-how from the technology provider
to a local vendor.

Before Treatment

Marine Protection
Laser-based Oil Fingerprinting
This initiative is the outcome of a partnership
between Environmental Protection Department,
Research and Development Center and King Fahd
University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)
Research Institute. The initiative targeted the
development of techniques using laser-induced
fluorescence to identify the source of unknown oil
spills rapidly and economically.


A propriety laser-based system was successfully

developed to fingerprint and identify various types
of crude in few minutes as compared to laboratory
analysis which can take several days.
Saudi Aramco received the National Oil Companies
(NOC) Environmental Stewardship Award for this
project during the Fourth NOC Forum held in 2006.

After Treatment
Laser-Based Oil Fingerprinting


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Groundwater Protection

Air Emissions Monitoring and Reduction

Passive Soil Gas Survey for Site

This technology improves ground water protection
by monitoring the levels and the spread of
hydrocarbon (oil) contamination in soil.

Alkaline Flue Gas Desulfurization

This initiative evaluated four alkaline flue gas
desulfurization (FGD) technologies for Company

The technique is simple yet very effective because

it is used to complement groundwater monitoring
wells by providing more information about the
sources and spread of hydrocarbon contamination.
This technology has been successfully implemented
in several Saudi Aramco facilities.
Granular Activated Carbon Membrane
Biological Reactor (GAC MBR)
This technology, which was developed by EPD in
collaboration with Siemens Water Technologies,
is utilized as a water treatment system where
traditional treatment systems could not meet
the national standards discharge requirements or
where the reuse of oily wastewater is needed. The
(GAC MBR) system has been effective in treating
very-difficult-to-treat compounds present in some
downstream wastewater.
The GAC MBR technology allows more than 40%
increase in the life expectancy of the expensive
membranes used in MBRs; it requires only a small
fraction of the replacement carbon; it generates
10% - 20% less sludge; it requires less energy to
operate and it will allow the wastewater to be
reused in almost any process used in a facility. This
Green Technology will allow Saudi Aramco to
reduce its need for limited groundwater resources
and reduce the costs associated with treating its

Carbon Enhanced MBR Pilot Unit


To maximize the knowledge gained through this

technology initiative, the results of this study were
shared with the Saudi Electricity Company.
Furthermore, since the primary source of this
type of emission, in the Kingdom, is from
power generation and desalination plants, this
technology has the potential of positive impact,
on the national level, by reducing Sulfur Dioxide

Flowchart illustrates a FGD processes system equipped with a

traditional spray tower (Source: Carmeuse Group web site)

Electron-Beam Flue Gas Treatment (EBFGT)

A relatively new technology which employs
energetic electron beams to treat flue gas. In
comparison to conventional FGD technologies,
which remove only Sulfur Dioxide while producing
large amounts of waste, EBFGT simultaneously
reduces Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide
emissions, and converts air pollutants into
agricultural fertilizer components.
Saudi Aramco successfully applied this technology
to several petroleum fuels at bench scale to yield
high quality fertilizer components, in collaboration
with King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology
(KACST) and a specialized European research
institution (Institute of Nuclear Chemistry &

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated
Soils using Low Temperature Oxidation (LTO)
The conventional method used in treating soils
contaminated with heavy oil is Thermal Desorption.
The contaminated soil is excavated and removed
to a high temperature kiln (800 C). This method is
expensive and very energy intensive.

Electron-Beam Flue Gas Treatment Process

Predictive Emission Monitoring (PEM)

This technology initiative investigated the use
of software-based PEM to provide continuous
monitoring of stack emissions. This would be an
alternative to the hardware-based conventional
systems which have higher costs.
Saudi Aramco and the PEM technology developer
collaborated to improve this technology and
ensure that it can operate effectively within Saudi
Arabias weather conditions. These efforts allowed
adopting this technology by both, Saudi Aramco
and local industries.

Elimination of Hardware Continuous Emission Monitoring with

Software (PEM)


The LTO technology initiative evaluated the

use of Low Temperature Oxidation to treat
soils contaminated with heavy oils in place
without excavation. This technology is applied
to oil-contaminated soil where the oil cannot be
recovered by centrifugation.
The LTO technology was evaluated as a potentially
lower energy alternative for onsite solidification
of contaminated soil. This can then be capped
and the land used for general purposes. The
technology was successfully demonstrated on a
bench scale.
Mechanical properties and toxicity of the resulting
treated soil matrix were assessed. One important
outcome of this study was the environmental
acceptability. Reduction in soil toxicity was verified
using earth worms that successfully survived in the
treated soil.

Low Temperature Oxidation Treated Waste Materials


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Phyto-remediation Technology for

Contaminated Soil
This study evaluated the practicality of Phytoremediation for removal of heavy metals from
soil in arid conditions using plants that grow
well in the local climate. The study evaluated the
effectiveness of sunflower, white mustard, black
mustard and fescue in the removal of lead, nickel
and vanadium from soil.

The study demonstrated that some local plants are

capable of removing heavy metals, in addition to
establishing a local knowledge base to utilize this

Growth of four selected plants (Sunflowers, Mustard white, Mustard Black and Fescue) in soil contamination


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco has a long-established strategy that promotes
environmental awareness among employees and their families,
general public, and local industries. The environmental awareness
activities associated with this strategy are designed to enhance the
environmental knowledge of employees, the community, and local
industry to cultivate an environmentally responsible culture.

I. Employee Environmental Awareness

The objective of the Employee Awareness
program is to raise environmental knowledge in
a manner that will help the employees integrate
environmental considerations into their jobs
taking into account various environmental
competencies including waste management, air
quality, occupational health, environmental health,
water quality, groundwater and marine protection.
Activities supporting employee environmental
awareness include publishing and distributing
environmental literature such as the EnviroNews
Magazine, booklets, posters and environmental
pamphlets addressing various environmental
aspects of Company operations.

A collection of Environmental Awareness Tools


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


1) Management Environmental Awareness

Presenting emerging environmental issues
to upper management in effort to promote
proactive environmental leadership within Saudi
Aramco has been a corporate prime objective.
In 2002, the Management Environmental
Leadership (MEL) workshop was introduced as
phase I of this initiative. During the workshop,
upper management were introduced to
emerging environmental issues dealing with
air emissions, solid and hazardous waste,
groundwater, wastewater, occupational health,
environmental health, radiation protection, and
marine protection.

The workshop has been designed to:

Enhance environmental awareness among
Company management
 repare the participants to proactively recognize
potential environmental problems and risks
Engage the participants to enhance facility
environmental performance
Phase-II of the initiative, launched in 2005, is
comprised of the Environmental Stewardship
Workshop (ESW) series, and targets middle
management. Topics presented and discussed
during (ESWs) are similar to those covered
in the MEL workshops with focus on specific
environmental subject matters.

Saudi Aramco employees in one of Environmental Stewardship Workshop

2) P
 residents Environmental Stewardship
The Presidents Environmental Stewardship Award
serves two purposes; one is to recognize facilities
environmental excellence, and the second is
to promote awareness among employees. The
Award is an annual event that focuses on:
Promoting stewardship in various environmental
Recognizing organizations with outstanding
performance in environmental protection
Providing an incentive for organizations to
enhance their environmental performance
Enhancing Companys overall environmental
Establishing top performing organizations as
environmental role models.


Mr. Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco

announcing the 2009 winners for Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

3) O
 perating Facilities Environmental
Coordinators Technical Exchange
Environmental Coordinators (ECs) are the
liaison officers between EPD and the respective
operating departments or service organizations
Company-wide. They are responsible for assisting
their departments to comply with Companys
environmental requirements, and enhancing
facility environmental performance.
ECs meetings are held bi-annually to provide
a forum for direct interaction and information
exchange between EPD professional staff
and the ECs as well as to train, update, and
enhance the knowledge of the participants.
Topics addressed include the roles and
responsibilities of the ECs in relation to the
Corporate Environmental Scorecard (CES), the
Environmental Health & Safety system (EH&S),
waste management, wastewater management,
environmental health and industrial hygiene. At
these meetings, ECs also exchange experiences
and share ideas for improving environmental
performance of their facilities.

4) O
 perating Facilities Environmental
The main objective of environmental campaigns
is to enhance employees awareness and
promote an environmentally responsible culture,
Company-wide, in line with corporate values
of stewardship and citizenship. An enhanced
Company environmental performance is also
an expected outcome. These campaigns are
organized and implemented Company-wide
on an annual basis in cooperation with various
Company organizations.


5) O
 ther Environmental Awareness Support
Developing engineering e-courses pertaining to
environmental disciplines such as: Introduction
to Environmental Protection, Air Pollution,
Water Pollution and Waste Disposal, and
Wastewater 1 & 2.
Developing environmental awareness presentations for specific operations requirement.
Developing 3D animation videos addressing
air quality, ground/wastewater, and marine
Maintaining a library of environmental videos
for operating organizations communication

Saudi Aramco Environmental Coordinators during one of EC

annual meeting


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


II. Community Environmental Awareness

The primary aim of the community environmental
awareness program is to raise environmental
awareness in the wider community including
local schools, employees families, general public,
and the local industry through various activities
such as workshops, exhibits and campaigns.
Partnering with local municipalities in the field
of environmental health also forms another
dimension of the community environmental
awareness. Another goal is to raise community
awareness in minimizing and managing waste
through reduction, reuse, and recycling activities.
1) Environmental Education Program
A major activity supporting the overall aim of the
community environmental awareness initiative
targets the establishment of environmental
awareness programs at Eastern Province schools
under the umbrella of the Environmental
Education Program.

The long term goal of the Environmental

Education Program is to develop community
commitment through a school based program to
sustain environmental protection. This program
helps young children understand how their
individual actions can affect the environment
and learn to take personal responsibility for the
preservation and restoration of our environment.
Enhancing environmental knowledge and
awareness of young generations is a reflection of
the Companys social responsibility and corporate
value of citizenship. This enhancement is
achieved through a series of environmental
train-the-trainer workshops for school teachers.
Teachers, then, disseminate the knowledge
gained at these workshops throughout their
respective schools, using the materials provided
by Saudi Aramco and other relevant activities.
Tools such as conducting surveys and campaigns
at selected schools will be utilized to measure the
effectiveness of the program in enhancing the
overall environmental awareness of students.

Saudi Aramco is partnering with the Ministry

of Education Eastern Province Directorate for
implementing the program. The implementation of
the pilot phase was initiated in December 2007.

Local students participating in one of the Saudi Aramco

Environmental Education Program events.

Environmental Education Program aims

to develop community commitment
through school based programs to
instill environmental stewardship


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

2) Environmental Community Campaigns

Numerous environmental campaigns are frequently
organized in cooperation with various Company
organizations to contribute to the overall aim of
the community environmental awareness initiative.
World Environment Day and recycling campaigns are
two of the major events regularly conducted. Various
media promoting Company activities related to the
protection of the environment and public health
are utilized to enhance environmental awareness of
employees dependents and the general public.
3) Mangrove Transplantation Campaigns
The mangrove transplantation campaigns initiated
in 1991 are annual events undertaken to highlight
the importance of mangrove habitats and the
role they play in the marine environment, and to
re-introduce mangroves at certain Arabian Gulf
coastal areas. Mangrove habitats are among

the most productive ecosystems in the marine

environment, provide protection for shorelines,
and are important nursing grounds for many
commercial fishes, shrimp, and other marine
organisms. The initiative is undertaken in support
of an established National Mangrove Committee
focusing on preserving and restoring mangroves
in impacted areas along the Kingdoms coast. The
Company has established strong ties and works
in partnership with the Saudi Commission for
Wildlife Conservation, and the Center of Fisheries
Research (Ministry of Agriculture) for the success of
this activity. Other campaign participants include
volunteers from local schools, boy scouts and
the general public. Several thousand mangrove
seedlings are planted during each campaign.
Saudi Aramco is an active member in the National
Mangrove Committee.


Mr. Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco helping

students plant mangroves during transplantation campaign


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


4) Environmental Health Partnership with

The Environmental health partnership with local
municipalities represents an outreach program,
which was established with local municipalities
and educational organizations. The program
implementation was accomplished through
a series of workshops, training courses and
internship opportunities. The program inaugural
workshop entitled Working Together to Ensure
Food Safety and the associated training sessions
were successfully conducted in February 2008 in
partnership with the Dammam Municipality.
Specific objectives of this initiative are to provide
a forum for Saudi Aramco and local municipalities
to share knowledge and experience gained
in the field of food safety, improve sanitary
practices in locally operated food businesses, and
raise awareness on the cause and effects of food

Participants during local industry environmental awareness campaign


5) Local Industry Environmental Awareness

The objective of the Local Industry Awareness is
to share Saudi Aramco experiences with the local
industry to promote best environmental practices
in the areas of waste management, air quality,
occupational health, environmental health, and
wastewater management. This initiative is also
expected to enhance Company-Local Industry
relationship and collaboration, and to aid in
the transfer of Saudi Aramco know-how to local
industry. Forging strong ties with the Companys
potential suppliers is another expected outcome.
Since the inception of the initiative in 2005, the
Company has sponsored several environmental
exchange meetings, workshops and conferences
in the Western, Central, and Eastern Regions
in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry,
Chambers of Commerce & Industry, and local
industries. Partnering with these stakeholders is
in line with Saudi Aramcos corporate values of
citizenship and environmental stewardship and
encourages environmental leadership towards
improved industry environmental performance.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Performance Assessments
In 1989, the Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) Program
was developed in support of Saudi Aramcos Environmental Protection
The continued success of the Environmental Performance
Assessment (EPA) Program is attributed to Saudi Aramco
managements aspiration to uphold regional leadership in
environmental protection.
The EPA program is an effective management
tool for assessing facility compliance with
environmental performance. Its continued success
is attributed to Saudi Aramco managements
aspiration to uphold regional leadership in
environmental protection. EPA survey teams
focus mainly on the air quality, wastewater
discharges, management of solid and hazardous
waste, ground water quality and spill prevention

The EPA Program consists of four basic

Pre-survey familiarization and acquisition of relevant

Facility site surveys to determine environmental
Follow-up to resolve problems
Tracking recommendations to ensure implementation
and compliance

The EPA Program objectives include:

1 Conducting periodic Environmental Performance
Assessments (EPAs) to ensure facilities compliance
with government and Company environmental
2 Reporting environmental performance evaluations

of facilities to corporate management

3 Ensuring that environmental Non-Conformances

are appropriately resolved


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Air Quality
Improving air quality is essential to maintain good health and
wellbeing. The typical adult breathes approximately 20,000 liters
of air every day. Air pollutants are known to cause haze, smog,
and reduced visibility. Therefore, it is critical to reduce the level
of air pollutants.
Saudi Aramco has introduced low-NOx systems for its boilers,
process heaters, and gas turbines, which reduce NOx emissions
by more than 50% compared to conventional systems.


Saudi Aramco has long recognized the importance

of air quality. It was the first to introduce ambient
air quality monitoring in the region. Manual
monitoring of air quality was introduced in the
early 1970s, which was upgraded to automated
monitoring in the early 1980s.

Several air pollutants are monitored at the

AMMNET stations, including:

Saudi Aramco operates an Air Quality and

Meteorology Monitoring Network also known as
AMMNET. The AMMNET program uses the best
technologies available to continuously monitor
the air quality near major Company facilities. The
AMMNET program began with 3 stations. Today,
the total number of AMMNET stations has grown
to 24; in addition to 4 metrological stations.
Optical Remote Sensing (ORS) monitoring systems
are used to ensure compliance with air quality
standards since 1990s.

3 Ozone (O3)

Conventional Station

Optical Remote Sensing

1 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

2 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

4 Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

5 Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Meteorological parameters that are measured

include temperature, dew point, wind, solar
radiation, atmospheric pressure and rainfall. These
parameters are continuously monitored. They are
very important in developing design standards for
Company facilities.

Air Quality

Data from the AMMNET stations are collected and

relayed to the Air Quality Database in real-time.
Weather data from major Saudi Aramco facilities is
displayed via the
sa web site.
Sophisticated modeling techniques use data from
the air quality and meteorological monitoring
networks to estimate ground level concentrations
of pollutants. These advanced tools enable the
Company to adequately determine the required air
emissions controls at producing facilities to meet
environmental standards.
Air Dispersion Modeling complements the air
quality monitoring program. Saudi Aramco uses
air dispersion modeling as one method of assessing
possible air pollution from existing and planned
Company facilities.
Advanced technologies such as Predictive Emissions
Monitoring (PEM) and Infrared Cameras are used
to detect, measure, and control the level of air
pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere.
PEM applies a computer model to predict stack
emissions. Infrared Cameras use advanced imaging
technology to detect and measure gas leaks. The
Company can thus control leaks and prevent
them from becoming a health or environmental
Saudi Aramco has completed several major projects
to reduce air pollution that may result from its
facilities and produced fuels. In 2001, lead-free
gasoline was introduced in Saudi Arabia. In 2006,
Saudi Aramco introduced low sulfur diesel in the
Kingdom. The commissioning of the low sulfur
diesel will significantly reduce sulfur dioxide
emissions. This will also enhance air quality
throughout the Kingdom.

Mr. Abdullah Jumah, past President and CEO of Saudi Aramco

introducing Unleaded Gasoline

Saudi Aramco developed a Fuel Quality Road Map

to ensure long term adequacy of fuel quality. This
map establishes a timetable for capital projects
required to introduce high quality fuels to the
domestic market. This is to ensure that automobile
emissions will meet or exceed ambient air quality
standards throughout the kingdoms urban areas.
The Fuel Quality Roadmap will also introduce
better low sulfur gasoline which will reduce Sulfur
Dioxide (SO2) emissions.
Additionally, the Fuel Quality Road Map considers
changes in population, urbanization, engine
emission control technologies as well as the
composition and size of the kingdoms automobile


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Air Quality

Distillate Hydrotreaters (DHT) significantly reduce

sulfur emissions from diesel fueled vehicles by up
to 95%. Distillate Hydrotreaters at Riyadh Refinery
and Yanbu Refinery are fully operational. The
completion of the Ras Tanura Refinery DHT in 2011
will reduce sulfur emissions still further.
Furthermore, the construction of Saudi Aramco
Master Gas System in the 1970s has substantially
benefited the Kingdom. This system has
substantially reduced the need to flare the
associated gas.
Currently Saudi Aramco gas plants process more
than 9 billion cubic feet of natural gas which fuels
kingdoms electric power sector and industry. This is
also a critical feedstock for the Kingdoms booming
petrochemical industry.
Saudi Aramco continues to implement Flare Gas
Recovery Systems (FGRS) to minimize flaring by
recovering as much waste gas as possible. Examples
of the FGRS are two projects, one in the Shedgum
Gas Plant, and the other in the Uthmaniyah Gas
Plant, which are under implementation. Studies
are also underway to implement FGRS in other
Finally, Saudi Aramco has installed Sulfur Recovery
Units (SRU). These SRUs significantly reduce Sulfur
Dioxide (SO2) emissions from gas plants and
refineries up to by 95%, which in turn results in
daily recovery of more than 10,000 tons of sulfur.
The recovered sulfur is sold as feedstock for
various industrial processes. Currently efforts are
underway to increase the recovery further, to more
than 98%.


Sulfur Recovery Units (SRUs)

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


The Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea are vital economic resources for
Saudi Arabia and the world, and therefore, Saudi Aramcos has a
prime interest in protecting the marine environment of the Arabian
Gulf and the Red Sea. As much as 20 percent or more of the oil
produced daily by Saudi Arabia is locked in reservoirs under the sea
in the Arabian Gulf. Crude and refined products have been shipped
through the Gulf and the Red Sea for over 70 years.

Saudi Aramcos involvement in marine biological, physical, and ecological

research has increased over the years. In 1984, the Sustaining Research
Project, Marine Environmental Studies Program, was launched in partnership
with the Research Institute at King Fahd University of Petroleum and
Minerals (KFUPM) and with Saudi Aramcos support, numerous marine
research and environmental assessment studies in the Arabian Gulf and the
Red Sea have been produced.
Saudi Aramco has long recognized that the
Arabian Gulf is not just about oil exploration,
production, and transport. Consequently, the
Company has been conducting environmental
marine research close to half a century.
Recognizing the potential damaging impacts of
the oil on the marine environment was one of the
main reasons for establishing the Environmental
Unit back in the 1960s.
The first ecological surveys were carried out in
the early 1970s. This resulted in the landmark
publication by Saudi Aramco of the Biotope of
the Western Arabian Gulf. This continues to be a
valuable reference for researchers and amateurs
alike to this day. Saudi Aramcos involvement
in marine biological, physical, and ecological
research has increased over the years.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


In the early days, biological and oceanographic

data was collected from the Arabian Gulf.
To better understand the Gulf as a highly
productive biological resource, Saudi Aramco
studied and monitored marine habitats such
as sea grasses, mangroves, and coral reefs;
and conducted physical studies on circulation
and tidal dynamics of coastal and offshore
areas, including the development of numerical
models on hydrodynamics, sediment transport,
and pollutant fate and transport. Most of these
investigations have been ongoing for over
twenty years.

This Partnership had its 25th anniversary at the

end of 2008. For most of that quarter century,
Saudi Aramco and KFUPM marine scientists
were generating the only research in the Saudi
territorial waters of the Arabian Gulf. With
Saudi Aramcos support, numerous marine
research and environmental assessment studies
in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea have been

Up until 2003, and for 25 years, Saudi Aramco

operated a marine laboratory in Dhahran.
During that period, in 1984, recognizing the
need for expanded marine research in its areas
of operations, Saudi Aramco partnered with
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Research Institute (KFUPM) to launch the Sustaining
Research Project Marine Environmental Studies
program, which is composed of several phases.
Also, in 1984, KFUPM carried out the first of
many environmental studies on the impact of
Saudi Aramcos Crude Oil Terminal in the Red Sea
Industrial City of Yanbu.

Phase 5 of the Sustaining Research Project relating

to marine protection and environmental studies
includes several assessments and investigations
such as: ambient water quality and ecology near
major point sources along the Saudi coast of the
Arabian gulf; man-made marine structures as
beneficial habitats through biomass increase;
sea currents and waves in the near shore zone of
major Saudi Aramco facilities; impacts of biological
entrainment into major Saudi seawater intakes in
the gulf; ecological study and habitat mapping of
the gulf of Salwah, and primary productivity and
harmful algal blooms in the Arabian gulf.

The Arabian Gulf and the Red

Sea are vital economic resources
for Saudi Arabia and the world


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Some of the Sustaining Research Project completed

studies, which have added to the local knowledge
base, include:
Oceanographic investigations;
Arabian Gulf and Red Sea Biotopes investigation
and habitat mapping;
Development of the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea
hydrodynamic and oil spill pollutant fate and
transport models;
Impact of dredging spoils disposal activities;
Mangrove investigations and transplantation
Coral reef investigations and monitoring
Offshore platform and outfall investigations;
Offshore produced water discharge to Arabian
Impacts of offshore drill cuttings disposal;
Primary productivity algae and seagrass;
Ambient water quality / eutrophication in the
Ballast water non-indigenous species

The Company continuously works on refining

the assessment of the inter-relationship
between industrial development and the
marine environment, and the focus is on using
best practices to reduce the impact of marine
operations on the environment. These operations
include offshore construction, drilling activities,
and drilling waste disposal. Saudi Aramco has
benefited greatly from the basic research to
investigate and assess the role and impact of the
Companys operations in marine environments.
As a result, the Company has developed its own
environmental standards which complement
both government and regional regulations.
Further, the Company vigorously implements
benchmarking reviews and environmental best
practices in its operations.

Saudi Aramco planted tens of

thousands of mangrove trees along
Saudi Arabia shorelines in the Arabian


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Saudi Aramco was among the first organizations

to require marine environmental impact
assessments for all its projects. Environmental
monitoring programs are becoming a basic
feature of large-scale marine projects in the
The Company has several initiatives to protect
and conserve the Kingdoms sustainable marine
resources. The Mangrove Transplantation Program
started out as a feasibility study conducted with
KFUPM in the early 1990s. This program has become
a multi-agency collaboration. It has resulted in
organizing many transplantation campaigns.
Tens of thousands of mangrove seedlings were
transplanted into in the Gulf mudflats.

Mega Projects and the Marine Environment

Protecting the marine environment by minimizing
or preventing, if possible, project impacts on the
marine environment is a primary target of all Saudi
Aramco projects.
This goal is achieved by implementing a number
of functional strategies. One strategy is early
involvement of marine specialists in project
development. This is essential to prevent or minimize
potential impact to the marine environment.

Between 1997 and 1998, the Company started on

a project to combine remote sensing technology
with ground observation to map coastal marine
habitats. During that project, a large scale natural
coral bleaching event was documented in the Red
Sea. The impact of this 1998 Coral Bleaching
event on coral reefs can still be seen to this day.
The expanding presence and operations in the Red
Sea drives the need for more marine research. In
the last ten years, Saudi Aramco conducted several
environmental impact studies and shoreline surveys
in the Red Sea. As a result, the Environmental
Protection Department (EPD) has helped establish
a marine science program and the Marine and
Ocean Research Center at King Abdullah University
of Science and Technology (KAUST).


Developing an Environmental Screening and

Scoping (ESS) Statement in the early stages allows
marine scientists to provide technical and scientific
guidance. This information helps in the design and
the development of the Environmental Impact
Assessments (EIAs).
Company standards require the implementation
of Environmental Monitoring Programs during
and after the construction of the project. Setback between any coastal development and the
shoreline is required to protect the integrity of
the coastal zone. These measures are to protect
the Kingdoms marine biological resources. The
measures also promote environmental stewardship
of the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea ecosystems.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Using Advanced Technologies to Eliminate

Dredging Impacts:
Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology
was successfully implemented for the first time in the
Company for the near shore approach of the 24 and
30 trunk lines of Abu Ali Flanks upgrade. Several
pipelines were installed using HDD technology for
shoreline approach of up to 3 km long.


This technology completely eliminates the severe

environmental impacts associated with dredging for
pipe laying operations. The successful benchmarking
of HDD not only minimized the footprint of offshore
projects on marine environment but was also more
cost effective.

Principle scheme of pipeline shore approach construction by HDD technology

Product pipe pulling


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Permanent Mooring Systems at the Offshore

Coral Reef Islands
Coral reefs are natural treasures, valuable biological
resources, and centers of biodiversity. Reefs can be
immense yet extremely sensitive. Saudi Aramco
believes coral reefs deserve the highest level of
Coral reefs at Jurayd, Jana, and Karan offshore
islands have been significantly degraded by
anchors of fishing and recreational ships. These
coral reef islands are important nesting sites for
birds and endangered species of marine turtles.

Eliminating the need to anchor on coral will

rehabilitate the threatened coral reefs in
these offshore islands. To accomplish that, the
Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
installed and maintained permanent mooring
buoys around the offshore islands. Special anchors
were inserted and cemented into the seafloor. This
eliminated the destructive practice of anchoring in
coral reefs.

Island Biodiversity in the Western Arabian Gulf


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Relocation Saves a Unique Near-shore Coral

In 2009, and in the first operation of its kind in
Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco undertook a coral
relocation project in Safaniya, the worlds largest
offshore oil field, to save a unique coral assemblage
that was in the path of a trench to be dredged for
a pipeline. Without relocating the corals, the reefs
would have been destroyed during the dredging
operation. Recognizing that offset measures will
not provide useful compensation for the total loss
of this coral assemblage; Saudi Aramco decided the
corals would have to be moved to a safe area.


An intensive three-week campaign followed,

during which, more than 500 small and large
colonies of corals were moved to a nursery area
about 700 meters from their original location.
Relocated with the corals were many small
fishes and invertebrates. The corals survived the
relocation and dredging activities. This unique
near-shore coral assemblage in Safaniya would
not be alive today were it not for the relocation
initiative by Saudi Aramco.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Groundwater is a precious resource for life, and since inception, the
Company has been strategically mindful in preserving groundwater
resources for future generations.
In the mid-1930s, the geologists and explorers
first surveyed the Eastern Province, and the
Company realized the importance of, effectively
and economically, developing all water resources.
In fact, the first well drilled was not for producing
oil, but for water. Without water the first
discoverers could not have survived, let alone
developed the oil fields we have today. The
Company continues to apply new technologies for
protection and conservation of water resources in
its areas of operations in the Kingdom to ensure
that groundwater resources will be available for
future generations.

The SAGPP was designed to be proactive by

monitoring groundwater quality at more than 50
sites throughout the Kingdom using a network of
over 600 monitoring wells. Data from these sites
are continuously reviewed and analyzed. When
the data suggests shallow ground water impact,
detailed site assessments are conducted. These
assessments help to know the causes, understand
the impact and plan effective solutions.

In the early 1980s the Company began checking

groundwater conditions beneath its facilities.
This was to test water quality and apply corrective
actions in the event any groundwater impacts
were detected.

50 Saudi Aramco sites are monitored

with more than 600 monitoring wells
With continually expanding Company operations,
a Kingdom-wide groundwater protection program
was developed, in 2004, titled Saudi Aramco
Groundwater Protection Program (SAGPP). The
SAGPP monitors the groundwater well network at
all major Saudi Aramco facilities, and includes field
sampling and laboratory analysis. Groundwater
is constantly monitored for quality using
sophisticated methods to ensure the protection of
the environment and human health.


Groundwater monitoring well

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

These methods allow effective testing of any site

where groundwater contamination is suspected.
The evaluation is usually conducted in a systematic
step-bystep approach. This determines the most
appropriate course of action. Recent technological
advancements, such as soil vapor surveys, allow more
detailed field assessments to better study the source
and extent of any groundwater contaminants.
The Soil Vapor Survey provides the ability to
detect vapors in the soil to find whether a leak
is in a pipeline or tank. This technology uses the
latest sampling systems and laboratory equipment
to find the source of groundwater contamination
more efficiently. Advancements in computers allow
the Company to develop models of groundwater
aquifers. This tool is used to study the present and
future effects on groundwater.

The aquifer models are used to plan future

field investigations such as the installation
of additional monitoring wells. The models
also help to determine the level of impact on
people and the environment, which is a process
known as a risk assessment. The risk assessment
results are used to determine a groundwater
cleanup strategy. Models can also be used to
evaluate various clean-up methods prior to field



Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Solid Waste
Waste management is an important part of Saudi Aramcos
environmental protection efforts. The Company works to minimize
waste generation. This is done by identifying waste reuse alternatives
and implementing environmentally sound waste disposal methods.
Saudi Aramco offices, industrial facilities and
residential communities produce a wide range
of waste. The residential communities generate
household garbage and tree & garden trimmings
waste. The operating facilities generate industrial
wastes such as oily sludge and catalysts, while
hospitals and laboratories generate medical and
chemical wastes. Saudi Aramcos waste management
protocols encompass each type of solid waste.

Each type of waste has its own particular

classification, hazard level, and
management requirements
The first priority in waste management is to
minimize waste at the source. One example of
Company efforts, in this regard, is the use of
mixers in crude tanks. These mixers significantly
reduce the oily sludge that accumulates in
the bottoms of these mega tanks. The use of
advanced technologies in cleaning the tanks
further reduces generated waste.
EPD environmental professionals conduct
assessments in operating facilities to identify
waste minimization opportunities. They focus on
source reduction, process modification, material
substitution, waste segregation, good housekeeping, reuse and recycling opportunities.
Over 50 facilities have been assessed including
all refineries and most of the gas plants. Other
supporting waste management facilities actions
have been initiated to reduce considerable waste
and improve cost savings in over 150 waste
minimization opportunities.


Saudi Aramco actively promotes waste recycling.

This has both economical and environmental
benefits. There are components in almost each
type of waste that can be reused, recycled or
recovered. Saudi Aramco supports efforts to gather
and reuse such materials rather than disposing
of them, which would increase environmental
footprint and financial expenditures. Reused and
recycled materials consume fewer raw materials
and less energy during manufacturing processes.
Recyclable materials must still be managed
properly, but they are not considered wastes
for disposal. This approach encourages finding
useful alternatives for spent materials.
The Company began waste recycling programs in
1992. These included several types of its municipal
wastes such as the paper, glass, aluminum and
plastic recycling programs. Saudi Aramcos
recycling effort has been very successful.




Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco recycles industrial waste as well,

including spent catalysts that contain valuable
metals such as platinum, copper, nickel, and zinc.
For example, recycled catalysts are sold in the
public market and the metals are recovered in
specialized facilities. Even oily sludge is recovered
to be used as feedstock to fabricate insulating
materials. This results in creating value and
reducing waste.
After waste minimization and recycling, proper
waste management and disposal can be considered.
Each type of waste has its own particular
classification, hazard level, and management
requirements. Detailed procedures have been
developed to control the proper handling and
disposal of waste. Detailed procedures for the
design, management and closure of waste disposal
facilities such as landfarms and landfills are also
Saudi Aramco classifies waste into three classes.
Class I waste is considered hazardous because
it may react with water or air. It could also be
flammable, corrosive to the environment, or toxic
to humans. These types of wastes require special
treatment/disposal methods to assure that they
will not cause any threat to the environment.
Class II waste can be industrial or community
wastes that are not hazardous. This class includes
non-hazardous oily wastes, household garbage,
sanitary sludge and non-harmful spent catalysts.
This type of waste is disposed of at municipal
landfills or by landfarming.

Solid Waste

Saudi Aramco works closely with local Saudi

companies to develop leaders in waste
management reuse and recycling. Company
wastes are used as feedstock in the manufacture
of new products. Some examples of recycling
efforts include the re-refining of waste engine
oils, recycling discarded batteries for metal
recovery and plastics reuse, and the conversion
of hydrocarbon solids into weatherproofing
materials and road repair products. All these
types of reuse/recycling activities are done by
local Saudi companies and partners.
Saudi Aramco will continue to lead the
Kingdom by actively managing our waste
streams. The Company continues to expand
waste management efforts into the Saudi
communities. Recycling activities are good for
the environment, and they promote proper and
responsible attitudes of the public.

The last waste category produced by Saudi

Aramco is Class III inert rubble and debris. This
waste stream contains materials that will not harm
the environment and require no special form of
treatment or disposal. Examples of Class III wastes
include cement blocks, bricks, glass, concrete, and
excavated soil. These materials are well suited
for reuse, by recycling or converting to reusable
material, or for improving land by using them as
common backfill in low areas and depressions.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Treatment & Reuse

Saudi Aramco assigns very high priority to the responsible use of

the Kingdoms precious fresh water resources. This is considered an
essential element of good citizenship. Responsible usage of water
resources is extremely important since groundwater represents a
non-renewable source of supply.
more than 70% of the sanitary wastewater generated
each year by Saudi Aramco communities and facilities is
reused for landscape irrigation.
Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
Saudi Aramco assigns very high priority to the
responsible use of the Kingdoms precious fresh
water resources. This is considered an essential
element of good citizenship. Low precipitation rates
do not compensate for the increasing consumption
of the kingdoms precious groundwater resources.
Responsible management of this precious natural
resource is essential to maintain it for future
generations, especially as groundwater represents
a major non-renewable source of supply.
The Companys water conservation strategy consists
of three pillars; optimizing water consumption,
maximizing wastewater reuse and protecting
groundwater resources. Saudi Aramco generates
two types of wastewater, sanitary and industrial.
Saudi Aramco has taken significant steps towards
the treatment and reuse of both streams.

Landscaping Using Reclaimed Water


Sanitary wastewater is generally treated

through sequential steps. These steps include
preliminary and secondary treatment, after
which, the treated wastewater is disposed of
in evaporation ponds or marine environment.
Tertiary treatment is also installed at selected
locations after secondary treatment to generate
wastewater with quality suitable for reuse.
The Company continues to invest in large
wastewater upgrade projects, which currently
include 14 industrial and 6 community projects.
At the present time, more than 70% of the
sanitary wastewater generated each year by
Saudi Aramco communities and facilities is
reused for landscape irrigation.

Sanitary Wastewater Treatment Plant

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

A number of projects are underway to increase

this percentage of wastewater reuse. After the
completion of these projects, it is expected that
Saudi Aramco will be reusing over 90% of its
sanitary wastewater.
Saudi Aramco has also used treated sanitary
wastewater for industrial purposes. Sanitary
wastewater that is received from Riyadh City
is used as the primary source of water for
industrial applications at the Riyadh Refinery.
The secondary treated sanitary wastewater is
received in lagoons at the Refinery before it
undergoes assorted treatment processes. The
treated water is used in firewater and cooling
water systems. It is also used as a feed to the
Reverse Osmosis plant for various uses in the

The Saudi Aramco developed GAC MBR provides

the same treatment advantages as an alternative
and market-available system called Powdered
Activated Carbon MBR (PAC MBR). However, the
Saudi Aramco technology does not have the same
operating problems and costs associated with the
PAC MBR system. Saudi Aramcos GAC MBR allows
more than 40% increase in the life expectancy of
the expensive membranes used in MBRs, it requires
only a small fraction of the replacement carbon, it
generates 10% to 20% less sludge, it requires less
energy to operate and it allows the wastewater to
be reused in almost any process in a facility. This
Green Technology will allow Saudi Aramco and
other industries to reduce their needs for limited
water resources and reduce the costs associated
with treating the generated wastewater.


The Company also made significant investments

to build and upgrade many industrial
wastewater treatment plants at its facilities
to minimize the impact on the environment.
Industrial wastewater is generally treated by
removing oil and solids using different oil-water
separation units in addition to filtration. The
wastewater can then be disposed of in lined
evaporation ponds or injected into the ground
for oil reservoir pressure maintenance.
Saudi Aramco has developed the Granular
Activated Carbon Membrane Bioreactor (GAC
MBR) with assistance from a leading technology
provider and subsequently developed it into
multiple patents. This innovative system has
been licensed for world-wide commercialization
under the trademark of EcoRight MBRTM. The
license calls for significant royalties paid to the
Company for every GAC MBR sold, in addition to
a stipulation requiring units sold in the GCC to
be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.

Carbon Enhanced MBR Pilot Unit

The Company is currently investing

in large water and wastewater
upgrade projects


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Oil Spill
Oil Spill Management is a major challenge to the oil industry. Oil
companies have successfully reduced the number and volume of
incidents. Remember that in any given day there are over 80 million
barrels of crude oil moving around the world.
Saudi Aramco has implemented improvements in pipeline integrity,
vessel designs, loading procedures and tanker inspection systems
to minimize the occurrence of both land and offshore oil spills.

As with any other type of accident, prevention is

the best approach. Saudi Aramco has taken steps to
minimize the occurrence of both land and offshore
oil spills. These include improvements in pipeline
and vessel designs, loading procedures and tanker
inspection systems.
Pipeline design has come a long way from the old
rusting types. Today, corrosion control technologies
have been implemented to maintain the integrity of
the pipelines. Pressure valves, that withstand high
pressure, have been installed. Detection equipment,
which alerts operators of pressure differentials, has
been added. Detecting changes in pipeline pressure
helps eliminate one of the most common causes of
pipeline leaks.
The design of terminal loading arms and automated
loading procedures has also been improved. This
prevents operational loading accidents, including
the cost of lost cargo and downtime for cleanup.
To further minimize the likelihood of oil spill
incidents, Saudi Aramco has instituted The
Vessel Vetting System at its own terminals.
Vessels with a previous spill record are not
allowed entry into Saudi Aramco terminals until
it can provide documentation from a recognized

Ship Classification Society that it has corrected

the cause of the spill. Any vessel that has had a
previous spill anywhere in the world is recorded
on the Lloyds List.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

With huge volumes of oil being transported,

prevention can only go so far. The challenge to the
industry is preparation to minimize the impact.
Planning to minimize the impact of oil spill is an
immense task given that oil spills can happen at
any time, anywhere and in any amount.
As the largest oil producer in the world, Saudi
Aramco has been highly successful in reducing the
number and magnitude of oil spill incidents. This
reduction was done by implementing preparedness
measures to prevent spills.
Preparedness is the basis of Saudi Aramcos oil spill
contingency and response plans. The Companys
oil-spill program has four main elements:

Due to the global nature of the Companys

crude oil sales, Saudi Aramco has put together
a Global Oil Spill Contingency Plan. This plan is
consistent with the Companys commitment to
the preservation and protection of the marine
environment, and supported by comprehensive
local and regional contingency plans.

Oil Spill

These plans outline steps to be taken before,

during and after a spill. These steps help Company
personnel in containment and cleanup operations.
The Global Oil Spill Response Director ensures that
plans are administered by rigorously trained oilspill prevention and response teams.

1 Executive Management involvement

2 Contingency Plans
3 Equipment
4 Training
An oil spill committee of executives ensures that
all resources are available for the oil spill response
operations. The oil spill committee reviews and
approves policies, strategies, plans and actions
related to oil spill prevention, containment and
clean-up throughout Saudi Aramcos areas of
operations worldwide.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

The plans identify local high-risk areas, response

options and resources available for combating
oil spills.

Oil Spill

Saudi Aramco realizes that any plan is only as

good as the preparedness of the people who
execute it. Therefore, the Company has trained
employees in effective spill-control techniques,
including in-house developed training programs.

In case of oil spills, Regional Oil Spill Coordinators

(ROSCs) are responsible to direct their respective
Oil Spill Response Teams to combat the spills. ROSCs
also process any impending claims associated
with the spill. Oil Spill Response Teams include
personnel from Finance, Legal and Environmental
disciplines of the Company. There are currently
regional contingency plans for the Arabian Gulf
and Red Sea, in addition to the Vessel Emergency
Response Plan for the Companys international
affiliates, including Vela International Marine
Ltd., which is Saudi Aramcos subsidiary whose
tankers transport Arabian crude worldwide.

The Companys oil-spill plans are always updated

to further enhance protection of human health
and the environment. Oil-spill contingency plans
contain background information and sections with
step-by-step instructions on how to respond to a
spill. Plans also contain biotope maps to ensure
protection of vital marine habitats. Plans are
designed to be effective in response actions and to
satisfy ever-increasing regulations affecting oil-spill
contingency planning.


The Companys Global Oil Spill Response group

conducts oil spill drills, tabletop exercises
and hands-on training and coordination with
counterparts within Saudi Aramcos subsidiaries
and affiliates.

The Company holds a number of major oil-spill

exercises every year. Major oil-spill exercises
have been conducted in several locations around
the world, including Houston & Galveston,
Texas, Morgan City, Louisiana, USA; Spain, the
Netherlands, Portugal; Egypt, South Africa,
United Arab Emirates, Oman and India. The
Company also conducted joint oil-spill exercises
with Saudi Government agencies for protection
of water intakes for desalination plants and
industrial facilities. The Company also provides
hands-on training of personnel needed in
combating medium to major oil spills.
Saudi Aramco has the worlds largest stockpile
of oil spill response equipment among oil
companies. This stockpile includes dedicated
pollution boats and spray aircraft. On the
Arabian Gulf, they are based out of Ras Tanura
and Tanajib. On the Red Sea coast, they are based
in Jiddah, Jizan, Rabigh, Yanbu and Duba.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

The equipment is maintained in ready condition

at all times. Periodic reviews are conducted to
make sure adequate response equipment is
available at all our ports.
Saudi Aramco is also a charter member of the
Regional Clean Seas Organization, a key regional
agency involved in oil spill response. At the
international level, Saudi Aramco is a member of
several oil spill cooperatives. These include, Oil
Spill Response limited, East Asia Response Limited,
the Clean Caribbean Cooperative, Marine Industry
Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and the Marine
Spill Response Corporation.

The Company is also a member of the

International Petroleum Industry Environmental
association keeps its members informed of
developments in the international environmental

Oil Spill

arena, and aids communications between oil

industry and relevant international organizations
on environmental issues.
Actual events proved the effectiveness and
reliability of Saudi Aramcos preparedness for oil
spills. In 1991, at the end of the Gulfs second crisis,
a huge quantity of oil was spilled in the Gulf from
the Kuwaiti oil facilities. Despite the fact that Saudi
Aramco had nothing to do with this spill which was
estimated at several million barrels, it lived up to
its responsibilities and commitments and started
combating this spill, scoring remarkable successes.
All of Saudi Aramco and other coastal facilities
that relayed on in-taking seawater continued to
work normally, Saudi Aramco managed to recover
huge quantities of oil from the water and it
contributed significantly to the establishment and
operation of the Jubail Wildlife Rescue Center that
was initiated during that crisis.


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Management Efforts
Climate change related issues have witnessed unprecedented global
level of media attention. Saudi Aramco shares the views of the
international community on climate change, while realizing that Carbon
Management brings opportunities and challenges to the industry.
Saudi Aramco is promoting research and development of advanced petroleum
technologies, including carbon capture and storage. The Company supports
Saudi Arabias strategy related to international cooperation in climate change
while encouraging the use of Clean Development Mechanism to mitigate
increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Saudi Aramco Perspective on Climate Change

Saudi Aramco has developed a plan on climate
change that addresses the relevant carbon
management activities in the Companys
operations. The growing need for additional,
reliable and affordable energy supplies is among
the most critical issues faced by all nations.
The development and implementation of
technological solutions to reduce Greenhouse
Gas (GHG) emissions are promoted. This also
supports the continued delivery of reliable and
affordable global energy supplies. In addition, the
Companys organizations are diligently working
to address global carbon and other greenhouse
gases. This can be achieved through established
international methods such as the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM). Saudi Aramco
reaches out to stakeholders in the petroleum
industry, global research and international
organizations to implement these efforts. All
those involved in addressing GHG emissions must
combine their efforts to achieve this goal.


Saudi Aramco Climate Change Research and

Development (R&D) Efforts
Saudi Aramco has developed a Carbon Management
R&D Roadmap. This roadmap serves as a strategic
objective to be attained by creating a research and
development program to promote the development
of economically sound carbon management
technological solutions. These solutions would
ensure that petroleum-based applications will be
in line with future international Carbon Dioxide
emissions regulations, while maximizing the value
generated at all stages from the carbon cycle.
The Carbon Management R&D roadmap focuses on
the following areas from a petroleum perspective:

Reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions from mobile

Enhancing Oil Recovery to address climate change
using Carbon Dioxide injection
Capturing Carbon Dioxide from fixed stationary

Geological Sequestering of Carbon Dioxide in
depleted oil reservoirs
Promoting the development of Carbon Dioxide and
carbon based industrial applications
Building Industrial/ research alliances

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramco initiated research and development

of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies.
The Company is also working with the international
community to include CCS technologies as part of
the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for all
projects. This will make it easier for developed
countries to invest in this technologys development.
This technology is important to the international
communitys effort to reach significant greenhouse
gas emissions reductions world-wide.

Cooperation to Implement Saudi Aramco

Perspective on Climate Change


Saudi Aramco is also working to develop cleaner

burning transportation fuels. This work is being
done in-house as well as in conjunction with
other companies and institutions in Kingdom and

Saudi Aramco Intent on Clean Development

Mechanism (CDM)
Saudi Aramco realizes that CDM is a viable option.
CDM will enable the industry to reduce emissions.
The Company has initiated an internal evaluation
of its Operations and Capital program to allow
CDM to generate Carbon Emissions Reduction (CER)
credits in a timely manner. This internal evaluation
also recognizes the importance of preparing all
the necessary internal steps on the CDM activities
cycle to be ready for credit generation once a
post Kyoto agreement is reached. One example of
these steps is the initiation of several pilot projects
to gauge the CDM project cycle and its alignment
with CDM rules.

Saudi Aramco initiated research and

development of Carbon Capture and
Storage (CCS) technologies

Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery Pilot (CO2 EOR)

to address climate change using injection

Over the past decade, significant efforts and

resource investments have been made. The intention
of these investments is to develop technological
solutions that will reduce man-made GHG emissions
in general and Carbon Dioxide in particular. On this
front, Saudi Aramco is collaborating with several
major, intergovernmental, R&D, and industrial

HRH, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs and Mr. Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi
Aramco addressing the participants during the inauguration of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), January 2008,
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Hygiene Program
Industrial Hygiene focuses on the environmental stresses at the
workplace, which has the potential of adversely influencing workers
health. Since 1957, Saudi Aramco has instituted a series of proactive
industrial hygiene programs to protect the well-being of its workforce.
Today the Company industrial hygienists monitor
and analyze data to control occupational health
hazards. This allows operating facilities to better
manage health risks in the workplace.

The hazards evaluated include, among others,

noise, organic vapors, dust, fumes, vibration and
asbestos. Saudi Aramco also has well-established
programs covering hearing protection and
personal protective equipment (PPE).

Two major programs have been successfully

implemented by Saudi Aramco:

Occupational Health Hazard Assessment (OHHA)

The OHHA monitoring & control program is
designed to identify and reduce health risks in
the work environment. These assessments verify
that standards are met for employee chemical,
physical and biohazard exposures.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Hazardous Materials Communication

(HAZCOM Program)
Saudi Aramco is the first Company in the region
to develop and implement this program. The
intent of the program is to reduce the risks and
exposures involved in working with hazardous
materials in the workplace. The potential
hazards are then communicated to Company
and contractor employees.



One key element of the HAZCOM Program

is the standardized Saudi Aramco HAZCOM
labeling system for chemical containers.
HAZCOM labels are used together with the
Chemical Hazard Bulletin (CHB) to make sure
that information about chemical hazards
in the workplace is communicated to all
employees. The CHB is a single page English/
Arabic document which summarizes all known
health hazards associated with a chemical
product. The CHB includes information on
health, fire and reactivity hazards, proper
handling, storage and disposal, and first
aid requirements. HAZCOM Labels & CHBs
have been computerized through the SAP
EH&S system allowing operating facilities
immediate access to these documents.

Chemical Hazard Bulletin (CHB)


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Health Program

In the 1940s, with the advent of commercial oil discoveries in Saudi

Arabia, Malaria, Cholera and Other Infectious Diseases were endemic.
Early on, Company physicians understood that clinical care alone
was not enough and a formal support program was established.
They turned to Sanitarians, as they were
known then, to develop disease eradication
programs. Strategies were implemented to
control insects and other pests; monitor food
and water supplies; advise on proper handling
and disposal of sewage and solid waste. Within
a few years, malaria and cholera were virtually
eradicated from Saudi Arabia, and a number of
other infectious diseases were under control.
An Environmental Health program was initiated,
which assisted local food growers, dairy farms,
beverage manufactures, medical facilities and
water producers. They were shown how to
improve hygiene standards and quality controls
in their processes to produce the safest and
highest quality products. Those local Companies
who implemented the stringent quality controls
in their production process were added to the
list of Approved National Manufacturers and
Suppliers. Only these approved companies could
supply Saudi Aramco with their products.

Environmental Health Inspection Program

Environmental Health deals with those aspects of
human health and disease that are determined
by factors in the environment. It also refers
to the theory and practice of assessing and
controlling factors in the environment that can
potentially affect health. Environmental health
scientists use environmental monitoring and
analytical methods to evaluate health risks in
relation to food and water. All water resources
in Saudi Aramco from the well to consumption
are monitored. The monitoring ensures that
the potable water supply is free from harmful
bacteria and chemicals so that the water
supplies are always safe to use and to drink.
Employees specialized in environmental health
also monitor Company and contractors facilities
to control potential health hazards.

The Environmental Health Unit developed the

Saudi Aramco Sanitary Code incorporating
strict and practical standards of environmental
health. These standards were drawn from many
sources, including local health ordinances,
regulations and guidelines circulated and
publicized by Saudi Arab Government agencies,
the World Health Organization, US and European
legislation, and codes of practice developed by
In 1991, the Saudi Aramco Sanitary Code
was issued mandating Environmental Health
Programs Company wide.

Regular inspections for potable water supply

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Saudi Aramcos Environmental Health

programs include:

Health Program

Food safety monitoring and surveillance


The Environmental Health unit regularly audits

local National Manufacturers that are on the
Company list of approved suppliers. These
include bakeries, dairies, meat processing
plants, water and beverage bottling companies,
medical equipment and pharmaceutical
companies. Audits are done to make sure
that the suppliers are complying with strict
regulated standards and implementing the
best available technology to ensure highest
quality products that are safe for the consumer.

Regular inspections for local national manufacturers

Monitoring Saudi Aramco communities and
industrial plants

Environmental Health specialists conduct

regular inspections of Saudi Aramco
communities, dining halls, snack bars,
swimming pools, recreation facilities and
housing to protect the health and welfare
of employees and their dependants. This
is to assure compliance with Company
standards and that hygienic conditions
are being maintained. Environmental
Health also monitors sanitary conditions in
industrial plants Company wide to ensure a
healthy working environment.
Regular inspections for Saudi Aramco swimming pools


Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Nowadays most people are aware of medical x-ray machines, CT
Scanners, and other similar technologies used in many medical centers.
All these machines use ionizing radiation that allows us to look inside
the body without surgery.
Employees, the public and the environment are the most important part
of a successful radiation protection program. By prioritizing training
and certification of employees, the Company currently has more than
20 certified radiation protection officers, in addition to developing and
issuing a comprehensive radiation protection manual.

What most people may not realize is that ionizing

radiation is also used in important industrial
applications as well. Saudi Aramco uses many
of these radiation based technologies in various
Company operations.
Radiation technology plays an important role in
the oil industry. It has uses in:
1 Well logging operations use radiation sources to
understand the types of underground formations
for oil/gas production
2 Non-destructive testing technologies such as
industrial radiography make extensive use of
ionizing radiation to ensure the safety and integrity
of pipelines, vessels and process equipment.
3 Radiation-based Multiphase flow meters are used at
producing facilities on land and offshore.


4 Alloy analyzers usage in mechanical shops identify

the exact composition of various metallic alloys.
5 Radioactive tracers are used to assess gas wells
stimulation as shown in the figure.
6 Density/moisture gauges are used during well site
7 Fluorescent and Diffraction X-ray systems are used
in Company laboratories for advanced analysis of
samples and equipment.
8 Company medical centers use many radiation
applications such as diagnostic x-rays, dental
x-rays, CT-scanners, Gamma Cameras, Radiation
Therapy, etc.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship

Like other technologies, radiation technologies

require protection measures to ensure that the
desired benefits are achieved while minimizing
adverse effects to workers, members of the
public and the environment. To achieve this, the
Radiation Protection Unit (RPU) was established
with the objective of maximizing the benefits
from radiation-based technologies by ensuring
the proper handling and use of ionizing radiation


All workers using radiation sources are required

to use radiation monitoring devices. The radiation
exposure levels of Saudi Aramco employees
working with radiation are continuously
monitored. The Company uses the finest
monitoring devices to make sure that workers
radiation doses are kept within limits, as specified
by international standards.

A world class radiation protection program was

developed and implemented Company-wide
to ensure that the highest radiation protection
standards are pursued in acquiring, storing,
handling, transporting, securing and maintaining
ionizing radiation sources. These protective
measures are implemented to keep workers,
the public and the environment safe from any
harmful effects.
Radiation protection standards and procedures
cover all aspects of the various applications
of radiation technologies. For example, Saudi
Aramco produced a comprehensive radiation
protection manual covering many aspects of
radiation protection in addition to issuing several
radiation protection standards.

At all Saudi Aramco facilities, there are strong

monitoring programs in place including the
management of all contractors who provide
radiation services for the Company. For example
contractor workers are only permitted to conduct
industrial radiography in Saudi Aramco facilities/
projects if they have passed a Saudi Aramco
certification exam. Periodic testing is conducted
to ensure skill levels are maintained for all users
of radiation sources.

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) are also encountered

in almost all mining and oil and gas operations. Saudi Aramco is seen as a
leader in the field of NORM management and has confirmed this leadership
role in leading the revision of the NORM guidelines for International Oil &
Gas Association (OGP), which was issued in 2008.

Saudi Aramco Environmental Stewardship


Saudi Aramco radiation protection experts

regularly check the procedures and controls for
radioactive sources and radiation-producing
equipment. In addition, the experts verify that
suitably trained and experienced personnel are
available within the organization to ensure the
radioactive sources are handled, used, stored and
transported safely.
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)
are also encountered in almost all mining and oil
and gas operations. Saudi Aramco has developed
a comprehensive and integrated strategy to
control all aspects of work related to NORM.
This strategy includes all aspects associated with
Company operations to ensure protection of
workers, public and environment. A Company
procedure was developed to control different
aspects of NORM. NORM Training courses and
awareness sessions are regularly conducted
throughout the Company.
Comprehensive NORM surveys were conducted
for all Company operations. Measures to reduce
NORM impacts were customized for various
operations. This effort ensured that protective
measures do not hinder operations or reduce
efficiency. An example of such measures is the
control of reclaimed drilling pipes.
All equipment found contaminated are subjected
to a specialized and thorough decontamination
process before being released.

In the picture, a worker is scanning reclaimed pipes to ensure

that they are free of NORM contamination

Saudi Aramco has been very proactive in sharing its

experience in NORM management. The Companys
leadership in NORM management has been
recognized among other oil companies. Saudi
Aramco led the development of NORM Guidelines
for National Oil Companies (NOCs) in 2006.
The Company also took the lead in revising the
NORM guidelines for International Oil & Gas
Association (OGP) when it was issued in 2008.
Saudi Aramco is recognized as a leader in the
field of NORM management. The Company has
had significant success in establishing a common
framework for NORM management around the

NORM is encountered in almost all operations that

involve extraction and processing of raw materials
from geological formations. The radiation exposure
levels of Saudi Aramco employees working with
radiation are continuously monitored.