At the forefront of Turnaround achievement in Saudi Arabia

SAMREF is an equally owned joint venture between Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Mobil Yanbu Refining Company Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation). Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is the worlds largest oil producing and exporting company. It was established by Royal Decree in 1988 to assume the responsibilities of its predecessor, Aramco that had a history dating back more than 70 years.

The refinery at Yanbu was formed for the ownership and operation of crude oil refining facilities. Following the construction and start-up of the facilities, it commenced operations on November 1984.

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Preparation and planning

In 2007, the Turnaround planning coordinator of Samref visited refineries in Rotterdam and Antwerpen. They decided that PDM’s software and approach could have benefits for the refinery in Yanbu. In the meetings that followed, it became evident that Samref used the same method of Turnaround preparation and planning. Yet they lacked an integrated software tool for bringing the methods to the desktop of the planners, and to produce progress charts and management information.

Management tool

The PDM turnaround software NSpace is a management tool for guiding and improving turnarounds, and is part of our STOP-TM program. Typically, the process results in higher predictability and reliability for this kind of large projects, and it can lead to significant saving of millions of euro’s during program implementation.

Hands-on training

During the PDM visits and cooperation in the middle of the year, the planning staff of Samref received hands-on training of NSpace and acquired the concepts very quickly. During the next years, PDM will continue its commitment to Samref for a succesful TA. Topics will be creating wall-charts, building progress reports, integrating NSpace with Primavera P6, and installing Spade & Blind Management.

In this environment, where the sun heats the earth up to 45 ̊C, the people are friendly, and show great interest in new concepts and techniques. For now, the NSpace programme has proven to be both flexible and stable, and it can provide the services necessary for bringing the Yanbu refinery to the forefront of TA achievement.

NSpace on the Samref network

Early 2008, NSpace was installed on the Samref network using a SQL Server database. The supervisors of Samref requested a structured build-up of custom reporting and training related to the planning of the upcoming 2010 Turnaround event. Reports were compiled for scope management and for tendering purposes.


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