The Oil Drop



Issue # 3

2 May 2017

An electronic newsletter designed to update members with the latest news and events of the society and to raise technical and professional awareness.




Dinner and Technical Luncheon Meetings



Local and world-renowned scientists and professionals are regularly invited to present their work at DGS events as part of the society’s mission to expand the knowledge of its members in the geosciences. Four technical meetings held over the past few months have opened the minds of the many attendees to a wide variety of exciting topics, from the late Ordovician glacial record in the subsurface of northern Arabia to the trend of faults generated in the Central Arabian fields.


On December 14, 2016, Dhahran Geoscience Society was delighted to host Dr. Andrew Rees for a technical luncheon in Dhahran International Hotel. He is a clastic sedimentologist specializing in tropical estuarine and delta succession in SE Asia and Upper Ordovician glacial reservoirs in Libya and Algeria. His work experience within different Saudi Aramco departments covered the Permo-Carboniferous Unayzah group and the upper Ordovician Sarah as well as to the late Ordovician glacial stratigraphy. Dr. Rees was generous enough to share with us his wealth of experience about the late Ordovician glacial record in the subsurface of northern Arabia.


On January 10th 2017, the DGS was honored to host a dinner meeting given by the president of SEG Mr. Willian Abriel at the Le Meridien Hotel. The dinner session was very informative and well received by the many attendees. Mr. Abriel’s 38 years of experience with Chevron in the application of new technologies led him to be the geophysical lead for Chevron projects in many oil and gas basins around the world. He has worked to develop and deploy new techniques in seismic acquisition, processing, interpretation, research, project management, team building, large scale computing and multi-professional integration.  He was also named a life member of SEG in 2007 and was the first Vice President in 2012. Abriel received a B.S. in geosciences and an M.S. in geophysics, both from Pennsylvania State University, where he was a founding member of the SEG student section. In the hosted dinner meeting, he delivered an interesting topic and shared his views on “Examples of Excellence in Technical Content, Career Management and Social Contribution” which plays a critical role in building and growing a successful company.


Unconventional plays is a hot topic discussed by Mr. Robert Kennedy during the DGS February Luncheon at Dhahran International hotel. Mr. Kennedy has a wide experience in unconventional resources evaluation and development. He was recently the manager of reservoir and production technology at Baker Hughes and currently works as a consultant for Baker Hughes in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Kennedy’s talk about trends in the US major unconventional plays brought a lively discussion afterwards between the speaker and the audience. The presentation included several graphs showing comparison between several US major unconventional plays and their production over the years. It also brought up observed differences in production rates between oil plays and gas plays in the unconventional context.


On the 21st of March 2017, a dinner meeting was held in Le Meridian Hotel in Al Khobar. We were honored to have Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Kaabi, founding Dean of the College of Petroleum Engineer and Geoscience at King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), who shared his experience in integrated learning. In addition to the new initiatives and programs of the University for undergraduate and postgraduates, he also provided an insight of the unique facilities, technology and lecturers within the college. It was great to see such amazing development in the University. Dr. Al-Kaabi was generous enough to share with us his experiences and advices.


On the 29th of March 2017, DGS luncheon meeting hosted Dr. Schuman Wu.  He worked on mountain belts and sedimentary basins in China and the Middle East. He published several papers and taught courses about different structural aspects. Dr. Wu joined Aramco in 2007 where he worked on structural characterization projects across the Kingdom and filed a patent on quantifying structural growth. Currently he is a consultant in Reservoir Characterization Department. During the luncheon, Dr. Schuman discussed the trend of the faults generated in the Central Arabian fields in different geological ages and the impact on the trap formations in the area.







A Glimpse into Mada’in Saleh Trip : “Discovering the Nabatean History” Led by Yasmina Kechida, Geologist, Saudi Aramco





Distinguished Lecturer Program “Sequence Stratigraphy, A Journey from Regional Exploration to Detailed Reservoir Characterization” by Dr. Osama Soliman


As part of DGS initiatives and programs, the distinguished lecturer program (DLP) is maintained each year by the student section. The DLP program aims to circulate the knowledge of experienced professionals with the younger generation. For this purpose, each semester a respected name in the community of geoscientist tours universities within the kingdom to present lectures about his research and work experience.


For the fall semester of 2016, Dr. Osama Soliman was hosted by four geoscience departments. Dr. Osama is, currently, a sequence stratigrapher in the Red Sea Exploration Department in Saudi Aramco. However, he started his life in academic teaching, and research. He received his Bachelor and Master degrees from Suez Canal University in Egypt and his PhD from Memorial University in Canada on 1995.


After leaving the life of academia, he started a work experience of more than twenty years. Before joining Saudi Aramco, he worked in Amoco-Canada and Petro-Canada on various Canadian and North African basins. In 2002, he was hired by Saudi Aramco, where he worked on different Paleozoic, Cetaceous and Miocene clastic reservoirs. During these years, he specialized in clastic sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy, along with structural geology, seismic mapping, and prospect generation.


On Wednesday the 30th of November, Dr. Osama presented in front of the geoscience students in King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals. The following week, he presented to the geoscience departments of King Saud University in Riyadh, Taibah University in Madinah and concluded his journey in King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.


The visits attracted many students serious about their love for geoscience and future careers, and Dr. Osama’s lecture was well received by the faculty of the different universities. Dr. Osama described his visits as successful and that he had an enjoyable experience. The program allowed him to meet with many students passionate about earth science and rekindled his past in academia. Dr. Faisal Alqahtani from King Abdulaziz University commented on the visit by Dr. Osama: “It was a great pleasure having Dr. Soliman at KAU to present his excellent work.  On behalf of all the students and staff members of Faculty of Earth Sciences, we would like to thank you for your efforts and time to share with us your excellent work. We also grateful to DGS for organizing this.”


The title of his lecture was “Sequence Stratigraphy, a journey from regional exploration to detailed reservoir characterization”. His lecture was about utilizing sequence stratigraphy in predicting the locations of oil accumulations. In particular, utilizing the ability of the geometric approach to forecast facies distribution without constraints of sea level fluctuations and age of strata. This approach is compared to the genetic approach, which takes in account what affects the configuration of the sequences, like sea level changes, and stacking patterns. The geometric approach of sequence stratigraphy was used in two studies; the regional configuration of Permian continental reservoirs, and the model building of the Cretaceous deltaic reservoirs.


The student section of Dhahran Geoscience Society is currently in the process of organizing the distinguished lecturer program for the next semester with a new lecturer and bigger audience. To contact Dr. Osama Soliman, email:, Telephone: (+966) 13 873-6417




Young Professionals Community Outreach Activities


King Fahad Hospital Visit


While most children in the Kingdom are enjoying the weather by playing outdoors, some cannot even leave their hospital beds. Each year, close to 16000 children are unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. Considering this huge number made us think, “what can we do to help them to get through this?” Therefore, Dhahran Geosciences Society Young Professionals Social Activities Team led by Firas Al Awam, gathered on December 7th, 2016 at King Fahad Specialty Hospital to pay those children a visit. Our goal was simply to draw a smile on their beautiful innocent faces. The team visited the children rooms with gifts and sweets, a small gesture that can really make their day. A clown was present with the DGS-YP team to cheer the children up and to get them out of the hospital environment for a joyful change. One of the parents said, “My kid was waiting for you guys since I told him about your visit in the morning”. Hearing this made us think about the value of a simple visit to them. Therefore, the DGS Young Professionals team encourage everyone to pay them a visit occasionally, because it would mean the world to them. I would like to take this moment to thank the organizing team and the volunteers for their excellent job during this event, namely Yara Garoot, Carlese Linker, Shatha Qahtani, Musab Modrra, Maha Swaidi, Noha Lababidi, Sawsan Malki, Ghadah Mobarak, Obai Shaikh, Rima Ali, Bassam AlShammeri and Anas Qasemi.




Orphans Visit to KFUPM FABLAB


Obviously, many people consider orphans less fortunate therefore; it is very natural to feel sorry for them. However, sympathy is not what they need to recover and continue forward, especially those who reached High school. That is why DGS Young Professionals section led by Mohammed Benalshiakh tried to approach them in a different way on 28 and 29 November 2016. Yara Garoot and Yasmina Kechida organized the visit trying to help them rediscover their own skills and passions through FABLAB. Developing these skills and passions provides a pathway back to a normal successful life, where they can contribute to the society. The FABLAB facility is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology center, and now branching in King Fahad University for Petrol and Minerals (KFUPM). It gives participants the chance to create, design and produce dream ideas in a fabrication laboratory. FABLAB provided mentors for three workshops, which were electronics, 2D and 3D printing. KFUPM FABLAB management in Dhahran were generous enough to provide those workshops free of charge, including the needed materials. Their facility is open free of charge for everyone.


Organizers have noticed that dealing with teenage orphans can be very tricky, as some would show little response, and others would be very engaging. They truly appreciated the chance to have such monitoring and a new learning experience. Some of these orphans are currently involved in other charity activities, such as visiting hospitals and helping out elders. As been stated before, orphans want to get back to a normal living style, so they become happier as they provide and contribute more to help society.


I would like to thank the DGS management for all of the support and help. I highly encourage having more FABLAB visits for orphans , non-orphans and even our DGS members as it’s never too late to learn a new skill. I also want to thank the volunteers, namely Asaad Alzawwad and Almuthanna Alhamad for their time and efforts. Not to forget the exceptional support from Ekhaa , Benaa and Saihat charity groups

Winter Clothing Campaign


For poor families, warm clothes in the winter are a luxury they cannot afford. Charitable organizations around the Kingdom try to make the winter for these families warmer and bearable. They collect from donations different items like food, cloths, and heaters to give to these underprivileged families.


On Monday, January 9, 2017, Dhahran Geoscience Society (DGS) organized a “Winter Clothing Campaign”. The number of participants in the event exceeded fifty including families, organizers, and volunteering DGS members. The organizing team from DGS has coordinated with Al-Ihsan charity center to help the volunteers deliver the campaign items to the families in need. The campaign distributed a total of 10 heaters and 12 blankets. The young team visited 6 families who included mainly elderly men, women, and children.

One young participant commented: “The team got to visit the families’ apartments and see the smiles on their faces as we were handing out the item of clothing. It was that moment that we realized the importance of giving and how it helps us stay motivated to do more events that are charitable”.


Dhahran Geoscience Society thanks Khaled Al-Soqair, Yara Garoot, Carlese Linker, Hala Al-Wagdani, Ziyad Al-Ghamdi, Eisa Al-Mari and Musab Al-Modrra for organizing and making this campaign happen.

Reading Campaign


Dhahran Geoscience Society (DGS) with the collaboration of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) have organized a Reading Campaign in EXPEC basement for two consecutive days (17th-18th of January 2017). The campaign allowed the opportunity to meet local authors and get a copy of their signed books, swap books between members of the societies and encourage the members to read. In addition, in collaboration with “Bena’a” Charity Association for Orphans Care in the Eastern Region, all had the chance to donate books for the orphan’s library. The shelves were full with various book categories, fiction, non-fiction, technical, geoscience, petroleum, self-development and other educational books. Authors promoted their publications and all visitors shared their recommended books. The Societies provided refreshments in a separate room to allow people to grab a book and read it in a comforting environment. Certificates were handed to the authors to thank them for participating in the event. Thanks to the volunteers and organizers who made this event a success, namely Maha Al Suwaidi, Latifah Nasser, Salma Al-Hashimi, Sarah Al Qurashi, Abdullah Towailiai, Ali Alyami, Nahid Al-Dossary, Afnan Abdulkader, Sawsan Al Malki, Yara Garoot, Maha Alshammari, Noha Al Lababidi, Ghada Al Mubarak, Firas Awam, Alyaa Nafaa, Naba Al Hamad, Rufayda Al-Yami, Noura Al Zouman, Rima Al Ali, Adam Haroon, Musab Al Modrra, and Mohammed Al-Zuabi.







DGS Wellness Program : Sponsoring Dhahran Road Runners Club 10k Running Race


In collaboration with the Dhahran Road Runners Club (DRRC), DGS sponsored its first race for this term. The Peninsula 10K was open for all Saudi Aramco Employees GC11+ and their dependents who wanted to participate in the 5K or 10K race, held on the 13th of January 2017. A total of 85 participants took part in the event from different age categories (12 years to 64 years), including members of the Saudi Olympic Running Team. Medals and trophies were distributed after the race was finished. DGS would like to thank the organizing team from DRRC, led by Khalid Mayber, and all volunteers who helped making this event a great success.


Every runner in the race has a unique experience and personal story to tell. Abdullah Al-Joud, a Saudi Arabian long distance Olympic runner, who participated in the 10k race alongside some of his team members has his own inspiring story. Al-Joud was born in 1975 and started his dedication to running at 30 years old in December 2005. His motivation to be fit first and become a professional athlete after spun from his admiration to play football. He started training with a running coach after exhausting himself to win a race challenge, little did he know back then what was awaiting for him in his athletic journey. After winning the race challenge, he started following a tough training program that was coupled with various local and regional races such as the Bahrain Marathon Relay race. He developed a greater interest in running and started comparing himself to other athletes which energized his self-motivation and love for the sport. He then continued his training and participation in more local races such as the Saudi Excellent League, where he finished in second place.


In 2006, he ran 1500m and 800m track races and got the second place in both. It was not long until he attracted interest in his skills and received offers to join local clubs such as Al-Safa Club. In 2007 onward, as a professional runner, he joined an international training camp held in Morocco which was a key turning point in his journey. Mingling with international runners was an eye opener for him which in turn excited him to make history for himself and Saudi Arabia by considering further self-development to reach international level. In 2009, he ran his first 12K cross country race in Jordan and completed it in 36 minutes. During the same year, he also participated with the Saudi National Team in the Golden League held in Rabat, Morocco. He completed a 5000M track race at 13 minutes and 34 seconds and got recognized internationally as a professional runner by the International Association of Athletics Federation – IAAF. He then participated in another Golden League in Tangier, Morocco and completed a 3000m track race in 7 minutes and 49 seconds which did not qualify him to participate in Berlin 2010 Olympics. In 2010, despite the stressful year due to increasing work load and family requirements, he joined a training camp in Ethiopia and participated again in Rabat Forum in Morocco which is held every year. He completed a 5000M track race in 13 minutes and 30 seconds. Later during the same year, he participated in several half marathon races in Jordan and Egypt and completed them in 1 hour 4 minutes, 1 hour 2 minutes, consecutively. He also ran two other half marathon races in Saudi Arabia and Algeria with similar results. He also ran in a 17.5K road race and completed it in 50 minutes. Later on, he participated in the Asian games in Guangzhou, China and completed a 500m track race in 4th place competing against international athletes. In 2011, he participated in several training camps in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Morocco. Then, he participated in Rabat Forum and broke his latest 500m track race record at 13 minutes and 24 seconds, six seconds faster. This in turn qualified him to participate in the World Championship in Athletics held in Daegu, Korea. Unfortunately, he was injured and took around 10 weeks to recover. After his recovery, he participated in several cross country races locally, regionally and internationally completing them in 1st, 1st and 6th places consecutively then returned to Dhahran to prepare for London 2012 Olympics.


Part of his preparation for London 2012 Olympics, he participated in a training camps in Ethiopia for 21 days and in the Moroccan Ifrane heights for two weeks. Then he participated in Rabat forum in Morocco and completed the 5000M track race in another personal record time at 13 minutes 11 seconds and 60 milliseconds. This record came in as the 2nd best place for Saudis and the 7th world place which qualified Al-Joud for London 2012 Summer Olympics. London 2012 was his first Olympic experience where he participated in the 5000m men’s track race and completed it in 14 minutes 11.12 seconds, finishing 40th overall in Round 1. In London and after the Olympics, where he was sponsored by Nike, he got exposed to more international coaches and training equipment. In 2013, he participated in a cross country races in China and regionally in the GCC and completed them in around 37 minutes. He also participated and completed 5000M and 10000M races in 1st place. In 2014, and after specializing in the 5000M race, he made his most important decision to switch from track races to road races. And during the same year, He finished 48th overall at the world half marathon championship with a national Saudi record of 1:02:58. He was the first Saudi athlete to compete in the world half marathon championship. Then he made the decision to retire from international competitions and become a coach to junior athletes transferring his experience to the next generation of Saudi athletes. In 2015, he established Joud running team filling the void in the eastern province offering his team members intensive training programs that helps them excel in their skills and abilities to compete nationally and internationally and as a result of that two of his female team members qualified to join the Saudi National team. In 1st March 2017 he officially became a coach for the Saudi National Team which is another personal achievement made possible by hard work and dedication.


It is obvious from the photo below credited to Hasan Bayet that his team received most of the medals and trophies in the 10K race.




Innovation Challenge



The young professional section in DGS announced the beginning of the Innovation challenge on the 5th of February 2017, where 8 teams of young professionals are tackling challenges that were approved by the VP of Exploration, Mr. Ibrahim Assaadan. These challenges were gathered from different departments in the Exploration Organization and Exploration ARC, which professionals and young professionals face on a daily bases. The duration of the program is 3 months and all teams will get the chance to present in the closing ceremony in May 2017 (Exact date TBA). We (the young professionals in DGS) believe that this is an important program as tackling such challenges will increase employees moral, maximize performance and make processes more efficient. This is our chance as young professionals to have to have our say, to highlight our talents and innovative side, and create a better future for ourselves and other employees in the company.





DGS/SEG Challenge Bowl and The 1st Middle East Geoscience Student Conference (MEGSC)



From Sunday 26th of February to Wednesday 1st of March, DGS representatives attended the first Middle East Geoscience Student Conference (MEGSC) held in Al Ain, Emirates University which hosted the DGS/SEG middle east challenge bowl.


Dhahran Geoscience Society, DGS, has been involved with SEG in many initiatives in the Middle East including the Challenge Bowl Competition; often, DGS provide the Host (Hussain AlQattan/student outreach officer) and the award for the competition. The competition consists of three heats with three rounds in every heat; in each round, 10 questions are asked to the participating teams. For this year, 7 teams of two students each participated; the teams were from the Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE university, Ain Shams university from Egypt, King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, and Sultan Qaboos University. In the end, the team from Sultan Qaboos University won the DGS challenge bowl and they were awarded the next day at the Gala Dinner. The winners, Ahmed AlNabhany, and Israa AlHinai, were awarded by DGS to go on a fully paid trip to Houston to attend the SEG International Exposition and 87th annual meeting in September 2017. Moreover, the President of DGS and the student liaison officer (Hussain AlQattan) were also part of the judging committee of the posters presented by the students.


The first day of the event was for the Imperial Barrel Award organized by AAPG followed by an ice breaker dinner for all the attendance. The second day started with a career panel where several professionals from the different societies and universities discussed their practiced solutions for the current challenges they face in their work environment. There was agreement across the board that a well-established integration of different data and disciplines is the way to go to solve emerging challenges in exploration and field development. Moreover, the speakers advised the students to take advantage of every opportunity that falls into their lap and appreciate every experience they get. Following that, a workshop was presented to the students by Aiman Bakhorji on Rock Physics, while the other attendants took a tour of the new facilities and buildings of UAE university. After that 7 students presented their oral presentations about their projects in their universities. Finally, DGS hosted the Middle East challenge bowl where seven teams took part. During the third day, 16 students presented their posters in front of the judging committee and the audience. Following that a GeoQuiz organized by EAGE was hosted with 25 competing teams which was won by the team from Jordan University. Finally the organizers and winners of the different competitions were awarded in the Gala dinner in Sheikh Zaid Dessert Learning Center. The final day on Wednesday was delegated for a field trip to see Al Ain’s outcrops of carbonate formations including the Dammam and Rus (observed also around in Dhahran). Also, great geological locations like Jabal Hafit (anticline from carbonate shelf deposits formed by compression), and the hot spring of Al Mubazara area were explored.


The conference was sponsored by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Geophysical, Mubadala, UAE university, and Petroleum Development Oman. Also, it was organized by SEG, EAGE, and DGS along with other organizations and societies as oppose to previous years were it was organized by SEG mainly.


There is an agreement today that the challenges that we face in the geoscience world need a fresh innovative approach. This can be achieved by transferring the knowledge to the younger generation and empowering them to lead. The aim of the conference and DGS involvement is not the awards, and competition, but to encourage other societies and universities to be involved in these centers of knowledge sharing and human interactions. Nobody left this Middle East student conference without a new friend or new knowledge.




Membership Update


Membership of the Dhahran Geoscience Society is open to all Eastern Province geoscientists. The Dhahran Geoscience Society is an affiliated society of AAPG, EAGE & SEG. If you are interested in joining DGS, please complete the online application form at If you are already registered, please update your contact information at For more enquiries about membership, please contact the membership liaison:







EXPEC I,  Saudi Aramco Core Area, Dhahran

Mai Al-Mansour

+966 13 873-6950

X-2445, Floor 2









Upcoming Events, Announcements & Important Dates




DGS 30th Anniversary Dinner

03 May 2017

DGS 2017/2018 Executive Committee Elections


DGS/RCD Workshop

1-2 May 2017

May Luncheon

16 May 2017

DGS Young Professionals Innovation Challenge

18 May 2017

DGS 2016/2017 Recognition Ceremony

18 May 2017




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