Oil and gas: Aramco opens R&D center in Boston area

Source:Saudi Aramco

Aramco opens R&D center in Boston area The Aramco Research Center in Cambridge opens today as the first of three U.S.-based research and development centers aimed at expanding the global research network and capability of Saudi Aramco, the world’s leading fully integrated energy and chemicals enterprise. The new research center, owned and operated by Saudi Aramco’s U.S.-based subsidiary Aramco Services Company (ASC), is located at 400 Technology Square in the Kendall Square neighborhood of Cambridge. It is part of Saudi Aramco’s broader strategic research and development (R&D) program and will be joined by new research centers in Detroit and Houston, both of which will formally open next year in addition to locations in Europe and Asia.

At the inauguration of the Aramco Research Center, Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih said: “We see innovation and increasing knowledge intensity as the next opportunity for transformative growth and prosperity since it will unlock exciting new possibilities and affect every human endeavor. The most progressive organizations look everywhere for ideas, capabilities, and strengths aligned with their own to achieve bigger, better, and faster results – transformative results.”

"Collaboration is at the heart of our strategy, and in fact, it’s in our DNA. That’s why we are establishing a network of global satellite research centers, including three in the United States, to access novel ideas and tap global talent wherever particular strengths may lie,” Al-Falih added.

The new Center in Cambridge is part of the company’s ambitious R&D program, which is positioned to seek breakthrough achievements that address long-term industry challenges and contribute to Saudi Aramco’s mission of providing a secure and sustainable supply of energy for all.

“I am particularly proud to be inaugurating our company’s first American research center – the only one spanning the range of technologies in both the upstream and downstream sectors – right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Al-Falih said in remarks made at the inauguration ceremony. “This area – specifically Cambridge – is at the frontline of global innovation with elite schools for research and innovation, and we want to be part of this exciting mix.”

City of Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis, who participated in the event, said, “I’d like to welcome the Aramco Research Center to Cambridge’s vibrant and innovative Kendall Square neighborhood. We are thrilled that they have picked Cambridge as the location for one of three research centers in the United States and we look forward to the important energy research breakthroughs that will be made here.”

The quality of the Cambridge area’s technology and thought leadership contributed to the company’s decision to locate one of its research centers here. The new research center benefits from the opportunity to collaborate with North America’s leading academic and industry partners, and to draw on an international network of scientists and energy research.

“Our objective is to create science and technology that fundamentally changes and improves how we explore for oil, how we extend our known reserves, and how we manage reservoirs. We are looking for long-term innovations,” Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer Charles Kresge said at the center’s inauguration.

Saudi Aramco has maintained long-term, key research partnerships in the Boston area and is a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which is dedicated to working on key elements of complex energy challenges through multidisciplinary research.

ASC’s Director of Research & Development Mustafa Al-Ali noted that the location of the research center will help boost the quest for breakthroughs in research and innovation. “We see our research program in Cambridge as a natural outgrowth of the innovation and collaboration already taking place here,” Al-Ali said.

Saudi Aramco has maintained long-term, key research partnerships in the Boston area and is a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which is dedicated to working on key elements of complex energy challenges through multidisciplinary research.

The Aramco Research Center in Cambridge seeks to develop game-changing new technology that can address upstream and downstream energy challenges.

“This research center is focused on building upon Saudi Aramco’s successful and ground-breaking upstream technology initiatives and making major advancements in a range of areas, including computational modeling, the application of nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry, reservoir simulation, and how we apply advanced materials to chemical processes at the molecular scale,” Al-Ali added.

The three U.S.-based research centers are closely aligned with Saudi Aramco research organizations including the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center’s Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) and the Research & Development Center (R&DC) located at company headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The company also has research centers in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Delft, The Netherlands; Paris; Daejeon, Korea and, in the near future, Beijing.

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