Jubail & Yanbu Review

Manifa ... a challenge for most

Manifa ... a challenge for most

Aramco sends 55 engineers to Manifa

Manifa is about 130 kilometres north of Jubail and currently processing 900,000 barrels per day, making it one of Saudi Aramco’s largest oil producing fields

SAUDI Aramco has trained 55 engineers to work in its Manifa oil fields after an intensive training, officials say.

The 55 engineers came from Saudi Aramco’s various department and were sent to Manifa, bringing with them their newly acquired knowledge and expertise.

Abdulrahman Al Qahtani, superintendent of Manifa Central Processing Facilities, says the company has recruited a large number of young Saudis through its apprenticeship programme.

“They have completed their training in similar plants in the northern area,” Al Qahtani says. “These young men were supplemented with seasoned employees who oversaw all the work assigned to them while maintaining the strictest safety and quality standards,” he adds.

“This process yielded astonishing results as we actually managed to transfer knowledge and expertise in a practical and professional manner, all of this leading to the smooth commissioning of Manifa, on time and without incident.”

Mohammed Abdulwahid, superintendent, says: “We are proud of the young technicians’ achievements, even though more than 70 per cent of them have less than five years’ experience.”

He says the average age of employees is between 19 and 25 years, and they have proved to be up to the challenge.

Manifa is about 130 kilometres north of Jubail and currently processing 900,000 barrels per day, making it one of Saudi Aramco’s largest oil producing fields after the 1.2 million barrels per day Khurais facility.

Abdulwahid says: “Manifa stands out among its counterparts because of its energy self-sufficiency, as it co-generates 420 megawatts of electric power together with steam. Manifa is also unique because of its recycling of 3 million standard cubic feet per day of flare gas.”

Al Subaiey, a 26-year-old employee who completed the apprenticeship programme in 2008, says he worked at Safaniyah for six months, then at the Karan field for one year before being assigned to Manifa.

With Al Subaiey is Sultan R Al Qahtani, who joined Manifa in 2012. Al Qahtani’s role includes preparing for the commissioning of the plant.

Originally from Tathlith near Wadi Ad-Dawasir in the South, Al Qahtani says he joined Saudi Aramco, “because it is the largest industrial company and because it gives each employee the opportunity to develop himself both professionally and academically.”

Muhammad S Al Shammari says they also have to preserve the area’s marine ecology with its beauty and wonders, including reefs, various types of fish and shrimps among others. The young senior offshore operations engineer says of Manifa: “Saudi Aramco provided protection, all of the implemented designs for the causeway, the sea islands and the marine platforms which complied with global safety and environmental protection standards.”

Before Abdullah A Balkhyoor joined the Manifa project, he split his time between Jeddah and New York State University in Buffalo where he graduated with top honors in chemical engineering.

In Manifa, Balkhyoor is responsible of ensuring that operations are carried out safely and that every device and tool functions correctly and safely before commissioning.

Yusuf H Al Shehri, senior representative in operations, says that after more than seven years of incredible effort, the commissioning of the Manifa project has given light to the whole area.

He says: “When it comes to developing young people, particularly new engineering graduates, there is no disputing the fact that Saudi Aramco sets the bar.”

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