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Welcome to the future of industry-Aramco’s commitment to 4IR technologies

Welcome to the future of industry-Aramco’s commitment to 4IR technologies



Nabil A. Al-Nuaim, Vice President of Digital Transformation | October 31, 2021

Leading manufacturers are using 4IR technologies to transform their business models and value chains, bringing compelling financial, operational and environmental benefits. Aramco’s Chief Digital Officer Nabil Al-Nuaim explains how the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network is marking out the way ahead.

It’s hard to express the change that Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies are bringing to industry. They are literally transforming the way we work. They are also making new, previously unimagined things possible. In the energy industry, digital innovations such as machine learning, big data and analytics, and unmanned aerial vehicles are helping us to achieve significant advances in efficiency, safety, and reducing CO2 emissions, as well as realizing value.

The Global Lighthouse Network is a group of industrial sites that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified to set the pace in implementing Industry 4.0 at scale.

At Aramco, we are proud that three of our facilities have now been accredited as part of this network. The latest addition, Abqaiq, is our largest oil processing facility and the largest crude stabilization plant in the world. It joins Khurais, the world’s largest intelligent oil field, and our Uthmaniyah gas plant. And we are still the only major international energy firm represented. This is testament to Aramco’s commitment to 4IR technologies and to the scale of our ongoing digital transformation. 

Aramco is already reaping the benefits: energy use per barrel of oil processed has been cut by 14.5 percent, greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 3.8 percent and we have seen a 20 percent reduction in unplanned maintenance.

“We have seen a 20 percent reduction in unplanned maintenance and a 3.8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions”

How were these results achieved? The digital transformation has affected almost every aspect of Abqaiq’s operations, but three changes stand out.

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Harvey Yan