DAVOS: Saudi Aramco welcomed a delegation of the global elite to a reception at the World Economic Forum which, even by the glittering standards of Davos, was a sumptuous affair.
Hosted by CEO Amin Nasser, the world’s biggest oil company greeted political and business leaders at the InterContinental hotel, a short drive through the ice night from the main Congress Hall venue.
Though the temperature outside was well below zero, the hospitality in the cavernous reception hall was warm. The guests — including ministers and oil executives from Saudi Arabia and top business executives and financiers from around the world — were treated to a selection of gourmet canapés and refreshments, and all seemed to be enjoying the convivial atmosphere.
Joe Kaeser, chief executive of the German engineering giant Siemens, said: “This is a pleasant break from the back-to-back business meetings of Davos.” His company is in the running for some of the big contracts on prospect in the mega-projects underway in the Kingdom as part of the Vision 2030 diversification strategy.
The guests were treated to an extravagant visual exhibition of the Manifa oilfield off the Saudi Arabian Gulf coast, which has been praised throughout the world for its innovative approach to combining oil exploration with environmental concern.
During its annual meeting the World Economic Forum recognized another Aramco project, the Uthmaniyah gas plant, as a “lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a technology leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Nasser said: “The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Through the application of 4IR technologies, we can be at the forefront of the industry helping to shape the future of energy as part of Saudi Aramco’s mission to supply oil and gas around the world safely and reliably.”
In a short speech, Nasser thanked the guests for their continuing collaboration with Aramco, before handing over to Saudi musicians, including Madani Abadi on strings.
He revealed that Abadi was a former Aramco employee, and joked: “He used to work for us, but now he has a much better job.”