An ambitious engineering project
The MGS was to become one of the most ambitious engineering projects undertaken in the region. At the time, it was unprecedented in scope and cost for the Company, requiring sophisticated equipment, computers, construction methods, and state-of-the-art technology. The scale was huge; Shedgum and 'Uthmaniyah gas plants each covered 121 hectares (about 160 football fields), utilizing some of the largest gas processing equipment available.
Aramco's own publication, The Arabian Sun, captured some of the bustle at the time: the storage yard at 'Uthmaniyah “groans under mountains of material” while “thousands of men pull cable, spread asphalt, drive cranes, handle jackhammers … assemble, weld, and insulate the interminable pipes, some as narrow as a five-halala coin, some as wide as a Land Rover.” The Arabian Sun, August 27, 1980, detailed the huge quantities of food and drink being consumed by the workers, including 48,000 cups of tea a week.