Rice Students Learn Lessons From Saudi Aramco

30 Students from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business visited the Houston corporate office of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest national oil company (NOC). The students were given the opportunity to engage in discussions with senior Aramco executives to get an in-depth view of the company.

The trip was facilitated by the Partnership for Research Insight and Management Excellence, a partnership program that was designed to teach students more about the energy industry. In preparation for the visit, students who applied to the program researched Saudi Aramco. “Because of their preparation,” said Ankur Dayal, director of Energy Initiatives at the Jones School, “the interaction with the executives and the Q&A was extremely thought provoking, germane and powerful.”

One of the important lessons for students was to see the internal differences between an integrated oil company (IOC) and an NOC like, Saudi Aramco. A Rice press release explains what makes Aramco different.

“Aramco has a broader mandate that goes beyond shareholder profitability. It also includes a mandate for providing opportunities to citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — increasing employment, training and development, as well as enhancing the level of technology and intellectual capabilities of the local companies.”

Other topics discussed included:

  • Energy resources and requirements of the Kingdom’s growing economy
  • Aramco’s emerging focus on non-associated gas, as well as innovation in renewables
  • Aramco’s three new research centers in the U.S. (including Houston)
  • Aramco’s partnerships with private IOCs like Shell and Chevron, and the substantial procurement that Aramco undertakes in Houston


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