DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Aramco has completed its new Upstream Professional Development Center (UPDC). The facility in Dhahran will house an updated integrated training program for the company’s upstream personnel.
According to Abdullatif A. Al-Ghanim, director of Upstream Continuing Excellence: “UPDC is designed to address unprecedented professional development needs. We have aggressive targets of higher hydrocarbon discovery and recovery factors that require more complex activities and technologies to achieve. Exploration efforts are reaching into new environments, such as the Red Sea and deep gas exploration in the Arabian Gulf.
“The technologies used during routine operations will continue to evolve with new tools and advancements appearing at a rapid pace. With the advent of enormous amounts of real-time data that allow critical operational decisions to be made on the fly, engineers and geoscientists are taking multidisciplinary collaboration and joint decision processes to a new level.”
Disciplines covered by the UPDC training program are geology, geophysics, petrophysics, reservoir engineering, production engineering, facilities engineering, drilling and workover, and upstream computing.
Customized technology applications are included in some of the courses, allowing participants to learn important concepts and quickly perform analyses. In all the courses, a formal competency assurance process applies which establishes whether trainees are achieving required competencies, but also assesses the quality of the courses and identifies areas for improvement.
The new center has 18 classrooms with wall-to-wall viewing screens, LCD touch screens with 3D capability, and breakout areas. Other facilities include:
• A drilling simulator for participants to perform operations on a simulated rig
• A "Cave Automated Virtual Environment" in which students are immersed into a variety of virtual environments to undertake tasks include inspecting rock and fluid properties downhole and viewing the sedimentology and stratigraphy of rock outcrops
• A "Hyper-Dimensional Simulator" which allows participants to interact with a reservoir simulator using hand gestures, voice commands, and feedback.