Baker Hughes, Saudi Aramco Inaugurate 'Superbase'

Longtime supplier and oil-field support company Baker Hughes recently launched its $35 million "Superbase" facility in Dhahran.

The new center features labs, offices, repair and maintenance shops and offsite monitoring facilities.

Speaking at the inauguration on April 4, senior vice president of Exploration and Producing Amin H. Nasser noted that Baker Hughes has had a relationship with Saudi Aramco going back more than 70 years, and the company provided the drill bits used for Dammam No. 7, often called Prosperity Well, the first well to produce crude oil in commercial quantities in 1938.

"Since the drilling of Dammam No. 7, our needs for advanced technical services have increased vastly. Baker has responded by adding a wide range of new services and products including drilling fluids, drilling technologies, well logging, completion and production services, artificial lift, chemical technologies and reservoir consulting," Nasser said.

"A number of Baker technologies have been 'game changers' for us. Let me mention one of these: Baker Completion Equalizers.

"This tool gives our engineers the ability to control pressure drawdown in our extended-reach, multilateral wells by adjusting flow rates along the length of the laterals," Nasser said.

"During the last eight years, more than 470 wells have been completed with Baker Equalizers, allowing our engineers to manage our reservoirs proactively, maximizing both production and hydrocarbon recovery."

The Texas-based company has set a goal that 75 percent of the 475 persons employed at the center will be Saudi nationals.

"For the first time all Baker Hughes product lines are housed in the same facility in Saudi Arabia under one management team, which will drive consistent standards to improve service quality and reliability," Baker Hughes CEO Chad C. Deaton told Arab News.

"Our investments in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East have positioned us to provide superior operations support in the region," Deaton said.

"The Dhahran base also underscores our commitment to creating new jobs and empowering the local economy in line with the vision of the Kingdom's leaders."

Deaton also told the newspaper about future expansion plans at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Dhahran Techno Valley.

"The Dhahran Technology Center will integrate the competencies of engineers and scientists from the Saudi oil and gas industry, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and Baker Hughes to develop application-specific technologies for complex reservoirs, including the tight sand plays of Saudi Arabia," Deaton said.