Saudi Aramco Approves 2006 Operating Plan

Saudi Aramco will be extremely busy next year under its 2006 Operating Plan, approved Dec. 10 at a meeting of the company's Executive Committee chaired by president and CEO Abdallah S. Jum'ah.

At the meeting, the committee received and approved the Operating Plan, Net Direct Expenditures Budget and Manpower Budget for 2006, all anticipating a significant surge in activities in all the company's operations.

Abd Allah S. Al-Saif, senior vice president of Exploration and Producing, conveyed the deliberations of the committee during the Dec. 11 conference call to all operating areas.

He said the Operating Plan is based on the company's 2006-2010 Business Plan, which focuses on increasing Saudi Aramco's contribution to the Kingdom's revenues and on actively promoting development of the local economy.

Due to an unprecedented corporate push to increase oil output to help meet burgeoning global demand, Saudi Aramco's new Operating Plan anticipates that the company's drilling-rig fleet will more than double from year-end 2004 through 2006. The plan projects a 61-percent increase in the number of development wells drilled in 2006 from 2005, to support current production and future increments.

During 2006, the company also plans to execute four mega-projects, and it will seek new business opportunities in petrochemicals and other derivative products to further develop the Kingdom's industrial base, provide new jobs for Saudis and stimulate economic growth.

The Executive Committee expressed satisfaction with Saudi Aramco's achievements in 2005, given the volatile business and energy markets it inhabited, and said employees from throughout the company will be involved in achieving the 2006 Operating Plan's goals.

"We enjoy a well-deserved and outstanding reputation for the competency and high performance of our workforce," Al-Saif said. "Working together, we will live up to our record by successfully achieving all of our corporate goals in the coming year."

The committee also stressed the need to place a top priority on safety in the coming year: "Continuing emphasis should be given to observing, and improving where possible, the working procedures designed to ensure safety of operations and work environments. There can be no compromises when it comes to the safety of our operations and our people."