Drill bit manufacturer sets standards in Saudization

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Drill bits in the making at the manufacturing plant facility in Dhahran. (AN photo by Imran Haider)
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Saudi engineer explaining the drill bit parts. (AN photo by Imran Haider)
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The golden drill bit number 10,000. (AN photo by Imran Haider)
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Mohammed Almutlaq, Dhahran manufacturing plant manager and a drill bit model. (AN photo by Imran Haider)
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Mohammed Almutlaq, Dhahran manufacturing plant manager(left) and Rayed Eskandrani sales & marketing directer (right). (AN photo by Imran Haider)
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Drill bits in the making at the manufacturing plant facility in Dhahran. (AN photo by Imran Haider) (AN photo by Imran Haider)
Updated 30 April 2018

Drill bit manufacturer sets standards in Saudization

  • The plant is also considered the first ever to manufacture drill bits locally and from scratch in the Middle East.
  • The facility has reached 73 percent Saudization, which highlights Baker Hughes’ emphasis on sponsoring Saudi talent and creating high-quality jobs for nationals

For more than 80 years, Baker Hughes, a General Electric Co. (BHGE), has played a key role in the Kingdom’s oil and gas supply chain ecosystem. It celebrated a new milestone in Saudi Arabia when its drill bit manufacturing plant in Dhahran produced more than 10,000 drill bits since the plant first started production in 2011. This is one main manufacturing plant that not only covers local needs, but also the only plant in the Kingdom to export to the world.

While about 36 percent of the polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits are supplied to Saudi Aramco, the other 64 percent are exported to 41 countries including the US, China, India, Russia, Argentina, the UK, Kenya, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.

The plant is also considered the first ever to manufacture drill bits locally and from scratch in the Middle East.

The facility has reached 73 percent Saudization, which highlights BHGE’s emphasis on sponsoring Saudi talent and creating high-quality jobs for nationals. 

“I joined the facility as an engineer in this plant and today I am the manager of it,” Mohammed Almutlaq, the facility manager, told Arab News. All of these efforts underline BHGE’s commitment to strengthening localized manufacturing and boosting exports in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030. When it comes to Saudi female presence in the oilfield within the company, Almutlaq said: “Last year, around 40 Saudi female professionals were hired, including 10 engineers,” he added. 

“We are planning to double the number next year as there will be an expansion in the plant where a big number of Saudi females will join us as engineers and quality-control inspectors. We do not want to limit ladies to administrative and office roles like human resources, accounting or finance. On the contrary, we aim to open up opportunities for Saudi professional ladies.”

On the same note, Rayed Eskandrani, who served as the human resources talent manager and is now sales and marketing manager, said: “Along with the Dharhan facility, we have the research and technology center in KFUPM Dhahran Techno-Valley which integrates the competencies of engineers and scientists from the Saudi oil and gas industry.

“There are Saudi female professionals working in labs; creating and inventing new products that serve our customers in the most efficient way. We recruit specialized PhD holders who conduct research and make inventions that carry their names.” 

He added: “Even though the percentage of females to males in our company is almost 5 percent and it keeps gradually increasing, we are proud to have the first Saudi female drilling engineer who joined us two years ago to be part of the BHGE family. Saudi females have proved how competent they are, no matter what field they choose. 

“For instance, our female drilling engineers, who were well trained, went to different oilfields in different locations, including Oman, Norway and the US. The ones who went to the US on assignments have been given offers to stay with the company’s US team owing to their proficiency and competence. These professional ladies have wowed whoever they work next to.”


Tolerance key to promoting inclusive society: EU envoy

Updated 17 October 2019

Tolerance key to promoting inclusive society: EU envoy

  • Intellectuals, diplomats discuss challenge of blending cultures, faiths and values

RIYADH/JEDDAH: The European envoy to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday called for more tolerance and respect to help bring diverse societies closer together.

Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to the Kingdom, made his appeal as he welcomed attendees to a high-profile lecture to discuss Saudi and European perspectives on religious tolerance and diversity.

Organized by the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS), the event gathered together top intellectuals, diplomats and scholars to debate the issues of tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance of others.

Opening the lecture at the King Faisal Foundation building in Riyadh, d’Urso spoke about tolerance and how it was core to the transformation of societies, especially in Europe which had become more diverse.

“Today’s European society is a mixture of cultures, faiths, values, ideas, and habits. The challenge is to make sure our society is more inclusive, enhance mutual understanding and promote tolerance and respect,” the envoy said.

He pointed to the UN’s blossoming partnership with the KFCRIS and the importance of the lecture as key building blocks in the process of bridging cultural and religious gaps between societies.

“I think there are few more teams that are exchanging on the Saudi and European perspectives of religious tolerance and diversity. All of us know that the KFCRIS builds from the legacy of the late King Faisal and has been a pillar in promoting Islam,” d’Urso added.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to the Kingdom, made his appeal as he welcomed attendees to a high-profile lecture to discuss Saudi and European perspectives on religious tolerance and diversity.
  • Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), told delegates that when he talked about tolerance in Islam, he also meant tolerance in Saudi Arabia as a state that applied and was governed by Shariah law.
  • The director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Dr. Michael Privot, who converted to Islam 26 years ago, spoke about how the EU was characterized by increasing diversity, including religious and philosophical beliefs, even from the Muslim perspective.

He noted that in Europe there were many people of faith that had respect for coexistence. 

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), told delegates that when he talked about tolerance in Islam, he also meant tolerance in Saudi Arabia as a state that applied and was governed by Shariah law.

He said a state that respected others, human existence and brotherhood could not exist “unless there is respect for diversity and differences as a universal norm that no one can collide.”

According to Al-Issa, the Charter of Madinah (regarded as the first Islamic state constitution) was considered one of the best achievements of civil legislation in human history. “This document was held by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, with the Jews and represented binding legislation for Muslims toward religious minorities.”

The MWL chief noted that the document included the protection of civil and religious rights. “The document cannot be absorbed by extremism, it is clear. These rights and freedoms have been preserved by this legislation. And the Prophet Muhammad coexisted with everyone and understood these differences and diversity.”

In his speech, Al-Issa explained how the Qur’an gave Jews and Christians a special name to celebrate their religious origins where they were called “people of the book,” in reference to the Torah and the Gospel. The history of Christians and Jews was also never omitted.

Addressing the event, director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Dr. Michael Privot, who converted to Islam 26 years ago, spoke about how the EU was characterized by increasing diversity, including religious and philosophical beliefs, even from the Muslim perspective.

“We encounter such a diversity of ways of being Muslim from a theoretical, cultural, philosophical, ideological point of view. Any single Muslim group or community is represented somewhere in Europe and this situation puts European Muslims in a very unique environment which is different from any other Islamic majority society in the world,” said Privot.

He pointed out that for the first time in history Muslim groups from Uzbekistan and Senegal were living together and trying to become a community in European societies.

“Societies, which have completely liberalized the market of religions, believe all faiths are accepted,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, an MWL forum in Makkah recommended that Islamic discourse should adhere to the principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the Muslims’ uppermost legislative sources, which are also known as the Two Divine Revelations.

The forum, titled “The Service of the Two Revelations,” called upon concerned authorities in the Muslim world to regulate Islamic fatwas in a way that prevented extremism and stopped producing any misguided explanations of the divinely revealed texts.

The participants also encouraged the use of modern technology, especially social media, to better serve the Qur’an and Sunnah to help link Muslim youths with the two revelations.

In addition, the gathering proposed establishing platforms for producing software and smart apps related to the Qur’an and Sunnah and the launch of an international service award under the umbrella of the MWL.

Al-Issa added that the MWL had staged a number of Qur’an memorization programs in 78 countries and said there were now 68 colleges and institutes where 7,500 students were studying the Qur’an.

“Some 61,275 Qur’an readers have graduated from these institutes, with 5,055 reciters having obtained authentic reading certificates. The IOQAS (International Organization of Qitab and Sunnah) has also carried out 193 training courses and provided nearly 3,000 scholarships,” he said.