Sustainably Powering Brunei

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Brunei Shell Petroleum bags Brunei Technology Excellence Award for Automation - Oil & Gas at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023

Brunei Shell Petroleum bags Brunei Technology Excellence Award for Automation - Oil & Gas at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023

The  pioneering automated solution has contributed to the timely delivery of project targets.

Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sendirian Berhad (BSP) has won the Brunei Technology Excellence Award for “Automation - Oil & Gas at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023” for developing the innovative data science solution “Wiggles-to-Wells”. The automated 3D path planning solution allows for the reduction of turnaround time in delivering Wells trajectory.

The oil and gas industry’s subsurface space presents great rewards, but BSP recognises that this is a highly complex space. Extensive navigation is required to acquire the rewards, but pre-existing manual ways of working makes it challenging to explore this opportunity due to inefficiencies in the flow of information. When a new set of data is introduced into the workflow, multiple revisions and iterations would be needed – this also means more time is required.

Deciphering wells trajectory is a joint effort involving multidisciplinary teams. In BSP, this takes the collaboration across up to 5 teams in order to derive the best path. Considering the expansive network, on top of manual ways of working, there has been challenges in incorporating new data or data changes into the end product. Not only does this impact delivery time, but end-state design might also not be optimised to maximise value.

All these factors could be resolved through automation–a factor that reduces heavy reliance on individuals. With this, Brunei Shell Petroleum developed a data science-based solution ‘Wiggles-to-Wells’, inspired by the automated path-finding technology used in automated driving assistance systems.

The technology promotes a consistent and effective interface in various disciplines of subsurface, surface, and wells, and optimises multi-well trajectory design option to pre-defined subsurface risk and commercial constraints.

Faizal Mahmud, Data Scientist from BSP’s Digitalisation team expressed how the project and award recognition are a testament to BSP’s in-house capabilities in digitalisation, “The project marks a milestone for BSP's Digitalisation journey and highlights the close collaboration between Orang Kitani. Not only does this project contribute to our mission of Sustainably Powering Brunei through delivering hydrocarbons safely, reliably and responsibly, it also provide validation on Orang Kitani capability within the global scene."

Wiggles-to-Wells uses an automated 3D path planning solution that cuts the turnaround time to deliver a Well trajectory with an integrated risk-reward system. This solution provides an adaptable system that enables an optimal well path projection, allowing engineers to come up with multiple alternative scenarios without significantly affecting the design process timeline and providing the first indication of trajectory feasibility.

This automated solution also provides engineers with the capability to explore 3D space to generate the most optimal solution. As the 3D environment is more complex and computationally expensive than 2D, Wiggles-to-Wells optimises several approaches to maintain sufficient details such as randomising points within targets, changing the level of granularity, and environment confinement with starting points and targets.

BSP’s Wiggles-to-Wells equips engineers with a technology that can achieve quicker first solutions whilst maintaining engineering integrity. This automated solution’s operation anchors on the use of knowledge, experience, and skills of the engineers. Through the technology, businesses can unlock deeper integration of their functions across various technical disciplines that result in higher quality decisions, and a more efficient overall workforce.


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From Rigs to Regional

With her jovial demeanour and penchant for vivid colours, Liyana Matdanan carries with her an energy as bright as the sun. Despite having been in BSP for more than a decade, her passion for her craftsmanship has never wavered.

Liyana is currently undergoing her Short Term International Assignment (STIA) as Integrated Gas (IG) Wells HSSE Advisor in the IG Home Team based in Kuala Lumpur. Integrated Gas scope pans over Wells operations in Qatar, Sakhalin, China, Australia, Malaysia and Brunei. Prior to this STIA, Liyana held the position of  Senior HSSE Advisor (Drilling Rigs) & the Rig HSSE Commissioning Lead for BSP Technical Wells. 

Liyana trails behind her an interesting background. Unlike most of her colleagues, Liyana does not hold an engineering degree, but rather, a B.A in Geography (Major) and English Language Studies (Minor). However, that has not hindered her career path in Wells.

Liyana entered BSP after being successful in a walk-in interview apprenticeship scheme. It was not long after that, Liyana was enrolled as an apprentice in TSW (Previously known as Technical Services for Wells). Given the choice of working in the field of CWI or Rigs, Liyana chose the latter – and so began her decade-long relationship with Drilling Rigs.

Other than pulling the feat as the once longest-running HSE apprentice (two and half years), upon her formal graduation into BSP’s workforce, Liyana also holds the achievement of being BSP’s first female Wells HSSE advisor.

“At the start of my career, I was already pushed out of my comfort zone. As I was going into a new territory, I made sure to do my own personal homework including learning the engineering jargons. I was blessed to have supportive senior colleagues who mentored and tutored me throughout the way,” Liyana shared.

The support system in her workplace enabled Liyana to progress into the Shell Graduate Programme in BSP after her apprenticeship. It became a learning experience of moving from one role to another. From a grad to a commissioning lead – soon enough, Liyana wanted to learn more.

“I see STIA as an opportunity to know more about HSSE and Wells beyond BSP’s perspective. Shell is a massive ecosystem and I want to learn how other Operating Unit (OU) are tackling the same shared issues.”


As an organisation that is tied to Shell group, it is common for BSP to adopt best practices, standards  as well as regulations from the Group. However, oftentimes, OUs are at the receiving end of a finished product. As such, Liyana has the opportunity to be part of the creation process for an upcoming safety manual.

“As the adopters, it can be difficult for us to integrate or comprehend how rules and regulations come to us the way they do. For instance, at the scrum level & being the project manager for Wells Assist and Assure online training programme, has given me first-hand experience from the creation until execution process.”

Liyana further added that communication among the IG team dynamics was also an interesting experience especially due to different time zones & COVID restrictions. While she crossed the border to be closer to the KL office, work interaction between the Integrated Gas scope was still predominantly virtual.

“This STIA experience has been more than just a professional development endeavour. You become tenacious to learn and adapt accordingly to different situations. Acclimatising not only to a new work environment, but also adapting to buying groceries only for one instead for the whole family!” Liyana joked, referring to being used to buying groceries for her family’s household back home.


Nearing the sixth month of her assignment, Liyana is just getting started. She plans to further stretch the border around her comfort zone, especially in looking into HSSE requirements in contracts and competencies.

Liyana added that she also wants to gain more experience in verifications.

“For me, knowing where we are right now also involves benchmarking against recognised standards. It’s important for us to check-in with other functions to know where we are in our performance, and how we can strive to be better than just the current best. I believe that just because things have been working well, there is always room to make it better – a leaner process, more efficient & working smart rather than working hard.”

Working amongst the regional Wells General Managers and under IG Wells Vice President’s leadership, Liyana is not short of resources to learn from the industry’s best.

When asked about the next step in her career, Liyana further proved the learner mindset she always don.

“For now, I am making the most of my international assignment experience. We talk a lot about “bringing the learnings of the outside world into BSP and vice-versa. I would very much like to achieve that by also sharing the tremendous dynamic work BSP has been doing (the complexity of our operations and manhours, the skills of our OrangKitani etc) to Global Shell. Similarly, secondment opportunities in the future will be ideal.”

Considering her illustrious professional journey, we have no doubt that Liyana will be paving a vibrant career path in her future.

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Successful Installation of Salman's Well Jacket Platform

Discovered in 2011, the Salman field sits between BSP’s Iron Duke and Champion fields. Benchmarked against other projects even at a global level, the project has trailed behind it hard work, tough decisions as well as recognition of once being the Most Competitive Portfolio within all Joint Ventures from Shell’s Upstream Impact Awards.

Plans to develop the Salman field dates back to 2017 after years of undergoing Decision Gates (DG) to assess feasibility. By 2020, the first steel cut commemorative event took place at the Marine Construction Yard (MCY) to kick-off the fabrication. The construction was carried out locally consisting of the well jacket, topside as well as water injection module.

Despite the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the following two years, BSP successfully loaded out and installed its Salman Well Jacket-01 (SLWJ-01) just 10 kilometres from its Champion 7 complex in October 2022.The Water injection module was also successfully installed on the CPWA07 complex. All were completed in October 2022 before the monsoon period arrived.

The platform is made up of the jacket and the topside, weighing approximately over 1600 metric tons – as heavy as eight Statue of Liberty!  Due to the size of the platform, it had to be transported in two parts, spanning over two days when weather and sea conditions were permitting. This means that stable sea state and wind speed were integral in ensuring a safe transportation and installation process.

Echoing its priority, Safety was at the forefront of the operation. The load-out process itself was an intricate procedure that required about 100 people on the ground. But focus did not waver even as the modules travelled the one-day ride from onshore to infield offshore, with the offshore team fully prepared for the arrival to proceed with installation.


But Salman is more than just a story of an engineering feat. It is about the talent and perseverance of Orang Kitani. At the height of construction, it took more than 300 personnel at MCY to deliver the next milestone for the company.

“Through Salman, we are witnessing the restart of major activities such as fabrication at our local yard,” Afiqah Zainulabidin, Greenfield Project Lead, shared in reference to MCY, which had been dormant for six years. “Lots of job opportunities have been created for our local workforce and alhamdulillah, we have reached our local employment target by 2021 and I hope that more of our local talents will be part of this milestone in the future.”

With a total of 1.8 million manhours under their belt, predominantly spent in operational bubbles to manage the COVID-19 infection, the sailaway was a testament of close-collaboration and Bruneian capabilities directly contributing towards Bruneian progress.

Involvement in the project for our local engineers was not only as a job opportunity, but an upskilling experience. This is showcased by the seven young engineers who successfully became welding inspectors.

“These inspectors are certified by the internationally-recognised institutes in their skillpool. In addition, we do have more than 50 IBTE students who graduated from Salman upon completion of their HSE task books. This project has been a reflection of our BSP Bersatu strategy – Pride in Orang Kitani in making sure our local workforce is future-ready.” Voon Oi Mee, Head of Offshore Project, proudly shared.

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