(more accurately Ra's Tannūrah, Arabic: رأس تنورة meaning "cape oven, cape brazier" presumably due to the unusual heat prevalent at the cape that projects into the sea) is a city in the Eastern Province
of Saudi Arabia
located on a peninsula extending into the Persian Gulf
. The name Ras Tanura applies both to a gated
Saudi Aramco employee compound (also referred to as "Najmah") and to an industrial area further out on the peninsula that serves as a major oil
port and oil operations center for Saudi Aramco
, the largest oil company in the world. Today, the compound has about 3,200 residents, with a few Americans and British expats.
Geographically, the Ras Tanura complex is located a distance south ofthe modern industrial port city of Jubail
(formerly a sleepy fishing village) and north across Tarut Bay from the old port city of (Al-)Dammam
. Although Ras Tanura's port area is located on a small peninsula
, due to modern oil tankers' need for deeper water, Saudi Aramco
has built numerous artificial islands
for easier docking. In addition, offshore oil rigs and production facilities
have been constructed in the waters nearby, mostly by Saudi Aramco
, and Halliburton
Najmah compound (Aramco code: '
RT) is one of four residential compounds built by ARAMCO in the 1940s and the only one located on the gulf itself. Ras Tanura refinery is surrounded by a heavily guarded security fence, and Saudi employees and their dependants may......