1980s

1980

Saudi government concludes purchase of Aramco

The government increases its participation interest in Aramco's crude oil concession rights, production and facilities to 100%, with retroactive financial effect to 1976.

Professional Development Program (PDP) established

In its first year, the Professional Development Program (PDP) enrolls 400 employees. The program initially enrolls some expatriates but soon shifts its focus to encompass only Saudis. Enrollment in the program fluctuates throughout the decade, peaking at 910 in 1987.

The Aramco communities grow quickly in the early 1980s.

1981

Data processing begins at EXPEC Computer Center

Data processing begins at the EXPEC (Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center) Computer Center, one of the world's largest geoscience computing facilities.

Scholarships for women

We provide the first scholarships to female employees to study at overseas universities.

Al-Hasa Farm begins operations

The company's 300-acre al-Hasa Demonstration Farm cultivates 15 new varieties of vegetables and becomes home to new fish and agriculture farming projects.

The Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center is the first facility of its kind in the Middle East.

1982

East-West Pipelines completed

Two pipelines are completed, linking oil production facilities in the Eastern Province with Yanbu' on the west coast. One line transports natural gas liquids (NGL) from Shedgum and the other delivers crude oil from Abqaiq. The two pipelines are the most advanced computer-monitored hydrocarbons pipelines ever built.

Company halts production at Well No. 7

The discovery well, Dammam No. 7, is shut in after producing almost 32.5 million barrels of oil over 45 years.

Mobile Library Program launches

The Mobile Library Program launches in coordination with the Directorate General of Education, providing educational services to elementary students.

The scale of industrial projects is reflected in this pipe yard in Yanbu'.

1983

Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC) inaugurated

On May 16, 1983, King Fahd ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz inaugurates the EXPEC building in Dhahran. The facility helps us move to the forefront of world-class technology in exploration, drilling and reservoir engineering.

The second wellhead from Well No. 7 stands outside the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center, or EXPEC.

1984

Vela International Marine Limited is founded

Our subsidiary, Vela, begins operations with four crude oil tankers that ship the company's refined products and crude oil.

Ali I. Al-Naimi appointed company's first Saudi president

Ali I. Al-Naimi, seated at right, becomes our first Saudi president in 1984, and is appointed CEO in 1988. In 1995, he is named Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Ali I. Al-Naimi becomes the first Saudi president of Aramco.

1985

Aramco's first female petroleum engineer

After receiving a master's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Na'ilah Mousli becomes our first female petroleum engineer. She goes on to mentor many other Saudi women employees and becomes the company's first female manager, overseeing Reservoir Engineering.

An operator in the 'Uthmaniyah Gas Plant monitors processes from the plant's control room.

1986

Original concession area reassigned

In the years following the original 1933 concession, and the supplemental 1939 concession, our exploration area is reduced through a series of relinquishments. In 1986, the government requests that we expand our exploration activities to include areas had previously relinquished.

Major environmental and ecological initiatives begin

We complete a three-year study of the Manifa and Tanajib bays to gain a better understanding of their ecosystems. Treated wastewater is used to create the Abqaiq Greenbelt to protect nearby homes from wind and sand movement. Three years later, we help publish Birds of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the most complete work ever printed on birds of the Western Gulf region.

A geologist examines rock samples, part of Aramco's campaign to discover new petroleum reserves.

1987

New Aramco Exhibit opens in Dhahran

We replace our original exhibit, which opened in Dhahran in the 1950s. The new facility opens in 1987 to help educate the public about the oil industry.

College Degree Program for Non-Employees (CDPNE) established

The CDPNE offers educational assistance to promising male and female Saudi high school science graduates. Program participants are provided free lodging and a monthly stipend while attending a one-year college preparatory program. Successful candidates then attend university and many of the graduates go on to work for us.

A Saudi student studying the globe at Saudi Aramco Oil Exhibit. Dhahran, 1990.

A young visitor explores the world at the Saudi Aramco Exhibit in Dhahran.

1988

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is established

On November 8, 1988, the Council of Ministers approves a charter for a new national oil enterprise — the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. A Royal Decree issued by King Fahd ratifies that decision, establishing a new company to take over all the responsibilities of Aramco.

First joint refining and marketing venture established in the U.S.

A company subsidiary and Texaco establish the company's first joint refining and marketing venture, Star Enterprise, in the eastern and Gulf Coast U.S.

A cartographer studies a three-dimensional stratigraphic model of an oil reservoir.

1989

First oil discovery in central Saudi Arabia

The first oil discoveries in central Saudi Arabia — at Hawtah and Dilam, south of Riyadh — are announced.

The discovery well at Hawtah, the first oil field found in central Saudi Arabia.

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