Accenture wins mega digital consulting contract with Saudi Aramco

13 February 2023 4 min. read

Global oil & gas giant Saudi Aramco has signed deals worth over $7 billion with 100+ local and international key suppliers, with Accenture one of the consulting industry’s largest beneficiaries.

Announced at its flagship In-Kingdom Total Calue Add (IKTVA) forum, the procurement deals are in line with Saudi Aramco’s strategy to scale up in the years ahead. Currently operating at a capacity of 12 million barrels per day, the Saudi company aims to add 1 million barrels per day to its total by 2027.

This is seeing Saudi Aramco ramp up downstream and upstream activity across oil & gas fields, in the process tendering billions worth of work to external suppliers such as engineers and contractors.

Accenture wins mega digital consulting contract with Saudi Aramco

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco simultaneously aims at transforming its internal organisation, focused on – among others – becoming a data-driven and digital leader, and streamlining its operations.

This is where the framework contract with Accenture comes in.

A digital collaboration with Accenture

Appointed a strategic digital partner, Accenture will play a key role in helping Saudi Aramco professionalise its digital foundation, and build digital capabilities. Both Saudi Aramco and Accenture did not disclose further details on the scope of work.

According to 2022 analysis by ConsultancyME, Accenture ranks as one of the top oil & gas consulting firms in the Middle East.

Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said that across the board, the company is planning to invest $1.9 billion in digital transformation over the next three years, making it its biggest investment in digital to date.

One of the main pillars of Saudi Aramco’s technology roadmap is the Aramco Digital Company, a newly launched wholly owned subsidiary which aims to accelerate digital transformation within the Kingdom and the MENA region.

“The launch of Aramco Digital Company is a great example of innovation in action, providing state-of-the-art AI and emerging technology expertise in a vital sector of the economy,” commented Ahmad Al-Sa’adi, Executive Vice President of Technical Services at Saudi Aramco.

A long-standing relationship

The latest contract – financial terms have not been disclosed but people close to the matter told ConsultancyME its value is “huge” in relation to average contract size in the Middle East – continues and expands a long-standing relationship between the two companies.

In 2022, Accenture in combination with two other companies (Al-Gihaz Holding and Impulse Partners) won a multi-year bid to help Saudi Aramco with the setup and operation of its Spark Digital Centre. Located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the Spark Digital Centre is the digital hub of the King Salman Energy Park, which is one of Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 flagship projects.

The Spark Digital Centre will bring together startups, corporates, investors, institutions, and other organisations to “foster creativity, technology innovation and sustainable transformation in the energy sector and its related manufacturing and services activities.” Once operational, the centre will be spread over circa 10,000 m2 of space.

In other areas of its business, Saudi Aramco has been tapping Accenture consultants and technologists for years. While most engagements are kept out of the media, known is that Accenture years ago played a major consultancy and technology role in the setup of Saudi Aramco’s chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City II in the Eastern Province, which is one of the world’s largest integrated chemical facilities.

Accenture has also helped Saudi Aramco improve the operational excellence and employer safety at several refineries across the Kingdom, including the Jazan refinery complex.

Within Accenture, the Saudi Aramco account is led globally by Adrian Bird, a Managing Director based out of Al Khobar.

An ecosystem of partners

Other major suppliers appointed as preferred partners at Saudi Aramco’s latest IKTVA forum include Zoom, DHL, Hassana Investment Company, Achilles, and Taulia.

The round of procurement agreements came hot on the heels of another major spending spree announced by Saudi Aramco’s coveted in-kingdom total value add localisation programme. In November last year, the oil & gas giant signed 59 corporate procurement agreements worth $11 billion with around 50 suppliers.

These agreements focused on engineering and contracting services such as drilling chemicals, wellheads, switchgear, vibration monitoring systems, pipes, compressors, structure steel, and air-cooled heat exchangers, with Baker Hughes, Cameron Al Rushaid, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and TechnipFMC among the long list of suppliers appointed.