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War on Plastic: Going Green on Blue Waters

Vessels are one of the essential components in the oil and gas industry logistics. Every day, vessels are responsible for transporting not only materials needed for exploration and production, but the people who are on the frontline. People who require adequate sustenance, even in the middle of the sea.

Single-use bottles and utensils have been commonplace for life at sea: it is convenient, it requires no effort to clean, and it is cheap.

What it is not? It is not kind to our earth.

It was while having a bottle of water when Captain Deepak Jain, BSP’s Marine Operations Lead, asked himself – how much plastic waste is generated on a vessel?

While the answer did not come immediately and required tough tracking and calculation, he soon found it.

It was approximately 400,000 plastic bottles per year, per vessel. With 12 workboats within the BSP Logistics Delivery Marine (LDM) fleet, operations would see up to 4 million plastic bottles wasted every year.

This was a problem, and it needed a solution. Fast.

It was not going to be easy, but nothing worth fighting for comes easy – and thus a new fight began for the team at LDM department, dubbed as the ‘War on Plastic’.

The mission was clear: they were eliminating single-use plastics on their vessels.

“This would require a change in crew habits, management intervention, and cost-saving efforts. It is not straightforward. There will be some inconvenience, but that is something we felt everyone should be ready for,” shared Captain Deepak.

What would entail in the next two years would be a journey of advocacy and implementation.

Extensive communications strategy was put in place; the team made sure to create awareness on the implementation through stakeholder engagements while advertising the incoming change through banners and noticeboards.

Banners were in place for offshore crews to read prior to boarding their vessels.

Beginning with workboat Icon Kayra in 2020, the identified pilot vessel, the team initially integrated reusable bottles as an alternative to its single-use counterparts. The implementation was enthusiastically embraced by 190 Marine, and Offshore Reliability Maintenance and Construction (ORMC) crews onboard.

“We found it useful because we can always refill our bottles. It also kept our water cold longer while we work in the heat,” shared one of the crews on Icon Kayra.  

Crews offshore proudly showcasing their reusable water bottles.

Shahrel Timbang, BSP’s Marine Contract Holder, worked closely with the vessel during this implementation phase. He kept his ears on the ground during the rollout, taking in the crew’s feedback while monitoring the amount of plastic waste generated by the vessel.

The responses were positive, the wastes reduced.

Building on the success, the initiative was replicated onto 12 more workboats  

Today, reusable bottles are a contractual requirement for any new vessel working for BSP. They have also extended the scope of the movement by integrating the use of reusable food containers, which have resulted in approximately 580,000 fewer plastic food containers in our landfills.

Additionally, the movement have not only reduced plastic waste, but saved the company on garbage-handling costs.

“Apart from decreasing the amount of plastic waste, since 2021 we have also avoided a spending of around BND400,000 per year – the usual amount related to managing garbage handling. Managing waste from offshore is a long process, requiring multiple rubbish skips and an extended offshore-onshore journey,” shared Shahrel.

The ‘War on Plastic’ is an inspiring example of the team’s consciousness and commitment for a cleaner earth. While the initial journey proved to be challenging, the team persisted and encountered success. It was also a testament of courage to not only challenge status quo, but to identify a real problem and provide effective solutions. 

This drive for sustainability is a true showcase of BSP’s mission of Sustainably Powering Brunei!

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Future-Ready Reservoir Engineers: Career Talk at UTB

In an increasingly competitive and dynamic world, future career options for upcoming Reservoir Engineers will need to cover a wide range of capabilities. This includes roles in existing hydrocarbon core businesses, energy transition and broader leadership/commercial roles.

This message was reiterated by BSP’s Chief Reservoir Engineer, Dr Anthony W. Peacock at a career lecture relayed at the Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB). The lecture was delivered in early March to undergraduate reservoir engineering students at the university.

During the session, students were given advice on the necessary skills and tools needed to ensure prospective Reservoir Engineers will have successful and long careers in the energy industry.

They also had the opportunity to ask questions on their areas of interest directly to an industry expert and gain real-life insights into theoretical problems.

“I was happy to learn that some of the theoretical knowledge we have been taught in class such as (pressure, volume, temperature) and material balances are used by reservoir engineers in BSP,” shared a fourth-year reservoir engineering undergraduate after the session.

The attending students showed particular interest in asking questions about the future of energy transition, new renewable technologies and how the industry is shifting in response to these trends.

They were happy to learn that several skills and knowledge from reservoir engineering are transferable and applicable even in new energy applications, making what they are learning relevant and competitive.

The special lecture was one in a series of industry talks hosted by the university to expose students to industrial best practices and insights, to help them bridge the gap from theory gained from the classroom to the real world.

The collaboration also shows the close tie BSP keeps with its industry partners, especially in nurturing future energy professionals in the country.

“I found this a very engaging session,” said Dr. Peacock, reflecting that the students showed keen interest in understanding how careers might evolve in the petroleum industry and beyond. He added, “I was impressed by the questions they asked after the session to understand how they can position themselves for future opportunities, and it was a pleasure to give some direction and advice to the future generations.”

Group photo of the speaker, staff and some of the attending students.

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Bringing Global Expertise Home

Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has been a career hub for over 3,700 employees, ranging from technical experts to corporate professionals. Talent management and development planning have been essential in BSP’s People Strategy to ensure that the company continues to have a healthy funnel of talents to keep its operations running. To further enhance the capabilities of its workforce, and in the continuous effort to future-proof Orang Kitani (Our People), several BSP colleagues have stepped out of their comfort zones and entered the global scene through BSP’s Short-Term International Assignment (STIA) and Long-Term International Assignment (LTIA). International Assignment is a talent development tool open to selected BSP personnel to acquire certain business skills or exposures that are not available within the organisation. 

As the world emerged from the shadow of the pandemic in 2022, the lifting of travel restrictions brought renewed opportunities for BSP employees. Despite limited roles within Shell, the company’s nomination criteria allowed for the competitive acquisition of positions on a global scale. Since 2005, there has been a total of 227 employees sent on assignment in various parts of the globe – this year, there is a total of 68 active assignments. BSP’s commitment to nurture workforce


Charlene Bong, Senior Petroleum Engineer 
Assignment: Waterflood, The Hague

Charlene started her assignment in the Global Waterflood Team at the Hague in September 2023. Being part of the team requires her to provide expertise and solutions across the hydrocarbon lifecycle, including Carbon Dioxide (C02)/Hydrogen (H2) and energy storage. Charlene is currently working on projects for US Deepwater (Gulf of Mexico) and Kuwait. 

In addition to enjoying the exposure to Shell’s diverse global portfolio, Charlene has also enjoyed the opportunity being in the Hague to re-connect with many colleagues who previously worked in BSP. Outside of work, she has been busy getting settled into the Dutch lifestyle, getting acquainted with the biking infrastructure, and getting ready for the upcoming winter season.

Hamidah Mokhtar, Wells Performance Lead
Assignment: Global Wells Planning and Performance, Houston


Hamidah’s passion for managing Wells Performance from a global perspective had led her to join the Global Wells Performance & Planning team in Houston, United States of America (USA). In her current role as a Wells Performance Lead, Hamidah has experienced strategic and performance management/improvement projects, which involves data deep-dives and analysis as well as structured approach to Industry-Leading competitiveness in line with the refreshed Wells Ambition Performance.

“The goals I have set for this assignment are to expand further my strategic thinking in Wells Business Performance and to make an impact in the business professionally, and personally, to adapt to a working and living environment outside of my comfort zone,” Hamidah shares. “This assignment has allowed me to grow as a professional and as a person, with the experience I would not have gained had I not been given the chance to be here.”


Ayuni Buang, Head of Portfolio Delivery, Decommission and Restoration (D&R)
Assignment: Wells Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) – Arctic, Houston, Texas

Recognising that such opportunities come once in a while, Ayuni made the most of her STIA experience in Houston, Texas. She took up the role of Wells FEED, working on a development project for a geographically and politically sensitive areas which tested her technical knowledge and experience. During her tenure in Houston, she had the opportunity to meet different professionals, including exceptional technical experts.

“The skills and growth gained from the assignment enabled me to challenge status quo for the better!” shared Ayuni. 

Nazrin Narawi, Commercial Advisor
Assignment: Process Optimisation Engineering department, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)

Assigned to PDO in Muscat during the first COVID-19 wave, Nazrin spent nine months leading a team of local engineers in the Process Optimisation Engineering department within the Gas Asset. Nazrin had the opportunity to get to know PDO’s gas operation, working closely with different stakeholders – by the end of his tenure, the team managed to improve the asset’s energy efficiency by 10%, while optimising the production facility and operational costs.

“Upon my return, I took on the role of a commercial advisor where to this day, I still advocate for top quartile metering availability, more so now considering reputational impact to our gas customers. My experience in PDO has certainly taught me to adapt to new environments and challenges better as I navigate my way through a completely different field of work in commercial.”

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New V8-BSP Helicopter Takes Flight

It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s BSP’s new aircraft! It was a momentous occasion for BSP as the new Sikorsky S-92 aircraft, a medium-lift helicopter that seats 19 passengers, registered as “V8-BSP” safely arrived from the United States of America.

The S-92 aircraft has been the cornerstone of Brunei Shell Petroleum’s (BSP) air transport services since 2007, and this latest acquisition will further enhance the efficiency of the company’s operations by standardising its aircraft collection.

Currently, BSP has two different types of aircraft in the garage – the S-92 and the AgustaWestland AW-139. Through this standardisation, the team will be able to have consistent training and maintenance plans. This move is part of the Air Fleet Optimization (AFO) initiative aimed to align current process with the BSP’s Bersatu Goals in creating simplified processes.

The “V8-BSP” had its first flight in mid-October 2023. With the optimisation of the aviation fleet, there will be a significant transformation to the “Backbone Flight” schedules, which serves as the core flight infrastructure supporting the essential transportation needs within BSP’s operations. The goal is to maximise resource utilisation and enhance “worker-on-platform” time, which refers to the time employees spend actively engaged on the offshore platforms – this improves overall efficiency.

The arrival of the “V8-BSP” S-92 aircraft introduces a new era of efficiency and cost-effectiveness for Brunei Shell Petroleum. These strategic changes are perfectly aligned with BSP’s unwavering commitment to achieving its BSP Bersatu goals, ensuring safe and sustainable production. The changes will also see the increase of seat utilisation by 20%, resulting in more efficient use of resources. 

Since the first purchase of the S-92 fleet in 2007, this addition will bring the total number of S-92 helicopters to four, comprising of three passenger aircrafts and one search and rescue aircraft. To date, the entire fleet has flown nearly 231,000 flight hours and achieved more than 1,090,000 take-offs and landings, carrying 5.4 million passengers safely to and from offshore platforms!

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Find Small, Fix Small: How Minor Repairs Prevent Major Fixes

Corrosion is like a broken skin; it does its damage slowly and if overlooked, can escalate into a bigger and more expensive problem. External corrosion of structures and process equipment has been the single biggest reason for repairs in Brunei Shell Petroleum’s (BSP) assets, resulting in operational and capital expenditure – and, often, the need to shut down production to carry out the repairs (a process known as turnarounds). 

Currently, 70% of turnaround scope is related to repairs of external corrosion. Recognising this as an issue, BSP’s Operation Asset Integrity (OAI), in collaboration with asset Fabric Maintenance focal points, took up the challenge to lean down the current external corrosion remediation process.

Thus, the “Find Small, Fix Small” approach came about – an early intervention of rust or coating breakdowns, way before they can develop into critical anomalies requiring repairs. 

Example of external corrosion that was fixed by First Aid Painting.
(left picture – as found ; middle picture – after surface prep; right picture – single coating applied)

The initiative was started by organising a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshop to streamline the existing end-to-end process. Using an Agile approach, a project management methodology that involves breaking the project into phases, an implementation strategy was produced.

As a step to ensure a successful outcome, the team ventured to engage all stakeholders. This was executed prior to the strategy roll-out, a crucial move to keep all players on the same page. A weekly cadence was also set up to drive development of the new process, subsequent implementation, and monitoring of actions identified for improvement. 

As a new approach, the initiative did not come without challenges. The project required the mobilisation of Inspection and First-Aid Painting teams to the assets, which means this can be a tricky juggle between managing logistics as well as the number of offshore People on Board (POB). This is on top of other challenges such as the shortage of painting material at the start of the initiative, difficulties in accessing piping or structural steel, and the varied abilit to read isometric drawings in the First-Aid Painting crew. 

Through meticulous planning, and collaboration with different stakeholders, the project saw the simplification of First-Aid Painting process from 24 months to merely days, conducted more than 20,000 minor fixes within eight months across BSP assets, and a reduction in the requirement for major repair and unnecessary production deferment due to unmitigated external corrosion.

“This initiative embodies our BSP Bersatu mission to “Simplify and Integrate” as the end-to-end process was significantly leaned down leading to faster mitigation of external corrosion anomalies. In the long term, this will result in improved asset integrity for BSP’s facilities and a reduction of major repairs due to external corrosion,” shared Robert Warmerdam, BSP Production Maintenance and Excellence Manager. “It is also a great testament to the capabilities, accountability and focus demonstrated by Orang Kitani.” 

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Going Green, One Tree At A Time

As the world shifts towards a low carbon economy, Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has been moving in step with the country to progress its green ambition. Beyond business deliverables and the integration of renewables into its operations, BSP has supported green initiatives within the company in belief that small actions create bigger impacts.

In September 2023, the BSP Environment team (HSE/5) partnered with SPHIERE to facilitate tree-planting initiatives by BSP Supply Chain Management (SCM) Green Supply Chain Team, Exploration and Geophysics (TSG), and Future Energy Lions (FEL). Over the course of two days, 250 saplings were planted at X24, Kuala Belait.

“The tree-planting activity was an important event for SCM, FEL and HSE/5 – it emphasises the significance of teamwork between participants and the community. People had the opportunity to either sponsor a tree or lend their energy to plant trees. This collaborative effort not only create a shared sense of responsibility for the environment, but also offer opportunities for learning with the community – for us to create a more sustainable world,” said Aimie Nadiah Pg Hashim, a member of the organising committee from SCM.

Cognisant of the fragility for new saplings and keen to see the seedlings grow into strong trees, the teams of volunteers also utilised SPHIERE’s tree-planting app. Apart from tracking the total numbers of trees planted by its volunteers, the app tracks the maturity of planted trees as well as its wellbeing to ensure that it continues to play a part in Brunei’s carbon sink. 

“Together, we believe in the power of these small yet significant actions, knowing that they will blossom into a thriving ecosystem, echoing our dedication to Brunei’s environmental harmony,” shared Fared, SPHIERE’s project manager.

The diverse array of trees planted during this endeavour will contribute to Brunei’s natural heritage. The landscape now boasts 10 vibrant Tabebuia Rosea “Pink Poui” trees, 105 Callophyllum Inophyllum “Panaga Laut” trees, 45 Hibiscus Tiliaceus L. “Baru-Baru” trees, 30 Barringtonia Racemosa “Putat Sungai” trees, and 60 Terminalia Catappa “Telisai” trees, creating a rich biodiversity that will flourish in the years to come.

With 250 trees planted, their collective effort stands to offset 12,500 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually. This impactful initiative not only beautifies the landscape but also significantly contribute to the mission of creating a sustainable and eco-friendly future for Brunei Darussalam.

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Day In The Life Of: External Relations Lead

Meet Hj Md Suffian Hj Zainal Abidin, External Relations Lead at Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP). Suffian sits under the Communications and External Affairs (CEA) department and has been with the company for 21 years. During his tenure, he has held diverse roles as Business & Development Adviser, Head of Issue and Stakeholder Management, Business Communications Lead, and Campaign Lead. In the last five years, he has been working in External Relations, overseeing BSP’s Social Performance and Non-Technical Risks. 

But what exactly is Social Performance and Non-Technical Risks (SP-NTR)? In Suffian’s own words, SPNTR encompasses how BSP effectively manage the social impacts of its business activities to the communities in which it operates. These impacts can be positive and challenging, and his role revolves around mitigating the latter while enhancing the former. As someone who regularly engages the community, Suffian also plays a role in projects by bringing in insights on non-technical risks. 

Suffian’s job primarily focuses on engaging diverse stakeholders.  This can range from the community, other private entities, to government agencies. It is critical for Suffian to have a direct line to his group of stakeholders – he has built a close relationship with them over the years, giving them assurance that BSP prioritises the concerns and wellbeing of its communities. 

“While we do have platforms where people can reach out to such as functional emails and feedback mechanism tools, having human interface provides comfort and assurance. Our job requires us to be out of the office a lot of the time to engage, assure and inform all our stakeholders on our projects – this is also critical in ensuring a smooth and successful project execution.” 

A typical day for Suffian starts early and kicks off with a trip to a small local establishment. Here, he gets to see the morning crowd while picking up some food for the office. Beyond acquiring fried delicacies, Suffian also acquires updates from the shop operators and other patrons. 

At the office, he would quickly check his schedule before calling his stakeholders to confirm meetings. Meetings usually go beyond office walls – it can be at residents’ homes, community halls, or even fishing sites. This is usually determined by business needs. For example, a project taking place near the suburbs require engagements with residents and village heads. In the session, residents would be informed of anticipated project impacts such as increase in noise levels or even movements of heavy machineries. Usually, BSP employees will work closely with the residents to come to an agreement on ways of working to minimise impacts to their daily lives. 

Once every quarter, Suffian and his team would bring stakeholders together at the Community Townhall. The Community Townhall serves as a forum for BSP to share on upcoming activities and projects throughout the year. At the session, government stakeholders, community leaders as well as project teams would come together to discuss, deliberate, and decide on needed actions from each party. The townhall also acts as a platform for attendees to directly voice their concerns, fostering an open and transparent dialogue. 

But SPNTR is more than just community engagements. Suffian’s role acts as a bridge between the company and the public. It is important for him to not only have one, but both ears on the ground – one for the business, one for the community. 

“I get to work with various project teams from both offshore and onshore and connect them with external stakeholders. Finding and providing opportunities for our external stakeholders to see what we do, but also for our project teams to see and understand the community,” Suffian shared. 

As every role, the job come with its own challenges. Sometimes, misalignment between project needs and external stakeholder expectations can be a tough situation to navigate. In such cases, it becomes a delicate balance to ensure the community needs align with the objectives of the company. 

“In this job, you get to meet people from all walks of life. In our continuous mission to build relationship, we also find opportunities to help our community. Sometimes, we get to contribute to the community beyond oil and gas – just like how our BSP staff volunteer at one of the schools in the community and help students struggling in mathematics. This shows just how much we not only care as a company, but as individuals.”

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Field Experience, But Make It Digital

In the Oil and Gas industry, being at the frontline means being exposed to a number of risks that must be mitigated. While mitigations can come in the form of safety barriers and work procedures, it is also reinforced by staff competence. As safety of our people, our asset and our environment remain to be Brunei Shell Petroleum’s (BSP) priorities, it is crucial to equip our frontliners with the right skills and knowledge.

In light of this, the BSP Wells Training Centre (WTC) was launched in November 2015. Its mission was to develop a highly reliable Wells organisation and individuals to support the industry, ensuring that operators have the right skillsets to execute smooth and successful operations. 

Ensuring that individuals from different level of expertise have the opportunities for practical experience within the class setting, the centre has been equipped with a state-of-the-art facility such as a full-size Drilling Simulator and Well Intervention Simulators. Having such equipment at the centre allows for local access to international level training, and limits reliance on overseas expertise – ultimately enabling BSP to increase its capacity and capability to develop local talents. 

BSP Senior Wells Engineer (WE) Training Manager, Haris Sahlan, stresses the importance of having the right skills to operate Wells activities. 

“In an Oil and Gas business, Drilling and Well Intervention activities are tremendously expensive and high risks. A small mistake could lead to a serious incident. They require people to be highly competent. BSP Wells Training Centre exists to develop competent individuals, instilling collaborative teamwork for a reliable organisation,” he shared. 

To further fortify its position as a credible centre of excellence, the BSP Wells Training Centre became member of International Well Control Forum (IWCF) in October 2016, also obtaining an accreditation as Primary Centre in January 2017. In 2021, the centre was also approved as an Accredited Training Centre for delivering both Drilling Well Control (DWC) and Well Intervention Pressure Control (WIPC). By having these accreditations, the training centre is authorised to deliver mandatory well control certifications for BSP staff as well as business partner colleagues. 

With access to the simulators in-class, students get the chance to replicate well drilling operation for high-risk and highly complicated wells such as High-Pressure High-Temperature deep water drilling. Furthermore, the simulator can aid the development of non-technical skills, such as situational awareness, decision making, communications, and teamwork – crucial elements in safety-critical operations. 

However, the simulators are not only useful for learning, but also for real life wells assessment. In 2018, there was a plan to drill a sophisticated Managed Pressure and High-Pressure High-Temperature well (Rapong Well) using a subsea Blowout Preventer (BOP) stack from a drill ship. The Rapong Well was also crucial to determine the reservoir level. This was a first undertaking in BSP. Hesitant to immediately execute full-on operations, the BSP Wells team sought the collaboration of the Wells Training Centre to develop and deliver Drill Well on Simulator (DWoS) sessions, which saw the participation from Wells Operations staff, rig contractor crews, and service company crews. Through the sessions, the team took the chance to understand and prepare for the challenges and the requirements needed to safely drill the well – but most importantly, through the preparations, the drilling team acquired the confidence to proceed with execution. The Rapong Well was safely and successfully drilled during execution phase. 

“This shows that what we do here is more than just class trainings, we contribute to operations by providing realistic experience both to students and practitioners. At the training centre, we can help equip individuals as well as project teams prior to execution work – in a controlled and safe environment,” shared Haris. 

Since its establishment, the Wells Training Centre has delivered more than 300 trainings and courses, with more than 2000 participants. Recognising that wells operations will be increasing its scopes, and consequently the complexity and associated risks, the Wells Training centre is also continuously looking to broaden its horizons to match the wells training demands today and in the future. 

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Successful Installation of EGWJ02 Offshore Platform

May 2019 marked a new beginning for Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) as it embarked on a new journey for the Egret East field – it was pursuing its first ever Low-Cost Development (LCD) project for marginal fields. Made up of lightweight four-legged conductor-supported platform (also a first in BSP), the structure sits on a 60-metre water depth to accommodate two new wellheads that will ultimately contribute to BSP’s production capacity.


Discovered in the 80s, the Egret East field had been a challenging undertaking amidst rising costs. However, time proved right as it became economically viable to pursue in 2019, leading to the creation of multifunctional teams from exploration, subsurface, facilities, and wells to perform front-end studies in order to assess the field’s development feasibility. Down further in the selection process, the team also deduced that the lightweight platform was installable through the use of drilling rig – which in this case, again, was a first of its kind in BSP. 

While it might sound like everything was prepped and prime for a “Go Ahead”, jumpstarting a project of ‘firsts’ required the team to do their due diligence for a safe and successful installation. The project team even sought the knowhow from technical experts across the business, local and international, to achieve this. With the Final Investment Decision (FID) achieved in September 2021, the team started the “EXECUTE” phase – it was time to start building. 

However, not everything went according to plan as the team encountered hurdles along the journey.  Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had to manage issues and delays related to supply and manpower restrictions. Additionally, the strong global market escalation post COVID also drove cost pressure up while kicking the project deadline forward by one year. But with strong work ethics, perseverance, and support from various functions in BSP, as well as alignment with business partners and stakeholders, the project managed to push through the hurdles, achieving completion of onshore fabrication as well as Mechanical Completion by August 2023. With that, the EGWJ02 was set to sail, travelling from the Marine Construction Yard (MCY) towards the Egret East offshore field.


The offshore installation campaign began with the jacket upending, a process of lowering the steel jacket onto the seabed. Then it was followed with conductor piling, mechanical connectors fit-up and grouting through the jacket legs before installation of the topside, and ultimately the installation of the boat landing module. It was critical to plan these phases of installation meticulously, taking into account safety as well as weather conditions. It was a challenging feat, but through close collaboration between the project, wells, engineering, offshore survey teams, alongside business partner colleagues, the EGWJ02 was successfully and safely installed in September 2023.

“The Egret East low-cost development project is a great testament to BSP’s commitment to safely and sustainably deliver energy source to the country and nation of Brunei Darussalam, as well as to our international customers. It showcases what we can achieve by adopting value-driven mindset. Through innovation and integration, underpinned by the spirit of BSP Bersatu, Orang Kitani have come together to deliver this project as one integrated team.” Shared Hj Noh Abdul-Gani, Project Lead for Egret East and Fairley East.

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Shell Eco-marathon: Young Changemakers for Energy-efficient Future

Lombok in Indonesia is a breath of fresh air, a stretch of blue waters, a winding circuit, a buzzing community, and a congregation of young hopes. In July 2023, it is also where approximately 900 students across the region gather in preparation of an upcoming competition: the Shell Eco-marathon is back for the Asia Pacific and the Middle East region. Held at the Pertamina Mandalika Street Circuit, engineering students compete to design, build and test drive the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles.

This year, the competition draws the brightest talents from 13 countries. Brunei joins the race with the Mantuka Aswad, a battery-operated vehicle entry from the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) participating in the “Prototype” category. Behind the vehicle is Perkasa Darussalam, a seven-member group from the Faculty of Engineering.

The journey to join the competition begins months prior to the event. Students work at their home university to gather resources and assemble their vehicle, while strategising on ways to achieve the most distance using the least amount of energy. Assessed against hundreds of teams, passing the initial inspection was no easy feat. 

All aspects of safety are heavily scrutinised, as students also consider factors such as aerodynamics, energy supply reliability, and materials integrity. 

“Mantuka Aswad took a lot of time and effort, as well as commitment from the team. I’m glad that we made it and we’re thankful of the support from our family, university, and sponsors. I’m proud of the team for their perseverance and making it this far, despite the challenges,” shared team manager, Muhamad Ahmad Hasyer bin Sulong. 

The Shell Eco-marathon is a week-long affair. “Paddock”, an area behind pitland and garages where teams set up their vehicle, becomes home for the students. After a long trip across oceans, students have to re-assemble their cars and prepare them in time for the technical inspection. 

After hours of gruelling and meticulous technical assessment on Day 2 of the competition, the Mantuka Aswad hits the track for its run. Against 41 qualifying teams who made it through the inspection, Mantuka Aswad finishes with the top 20 performing teams, achieving energy efficiency of 103km/kwh.

This year, UBD’s vehicle prototype is driven by a tag team comprised of twin sisters, first driver Amal Bazilah binti Karim and second driver Amal Basirah binti Karim. Achieving the final result in the third track run, second driver Amal Basirah highlighted the importance of perseverance.

 “As a driver, it was important to navigate the track safely and with finesse. It was critical to work seamlessly with our prototype vehicle – I’m glad that we managed to achieve our results after a few tries. It really does show that with perseverance, we can achieve the best results for the team.”

Since 2011, Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) continues to support Bruneian students’ participation in the Shell Eco-marathon programme as part of its commitment to nurture Bruneian talents in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics stream. The experience from Shell Eco-marathon do not only expose students to real-life engineering skills and challenges, but equip them with knowledge on responsible and sustainable ways of meeting the world’s growing energy need.

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Exploring the World of Geochemistry: A visit to the BSP Production Chemistry Lab

On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, the Geochemistry and Production Chemistry (OPC) department in Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) welcomed 23 second year Geoscience students from the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD). Since 2022, BSP and UBD has fostered a strong relationship in advocating for petroleum engineering knowledge through the Petroleum Engineering Forum, a BSP-driven platform where students and industry expert get to meet and establish valuable networking connections. This visit further highlights the close collaboration between industry and education to produce industry-ready graduates.

During the visit, the students were hosted to various sections of the OPC lab, including the sample and oil library area, the oil lab, gas lab, mud cement lab, and water and environment lab. Throughout the tour, lab technicians provided insightful explanations on how the data generated in the lab contribute to crucial business decisions. This hands-on experience exposed the students to a spectrum of laboratory analyses and their relevance to the oil and gas business.

“Overall, the experience was very informative and fun!” shared Nur Izzati Muhammad Seni, one of the students from UBD. 

This lab tour visit is anticipated to be a transformative learning experience for UBD Geochemistry students, broadening their horizons and enhancing their understanding of the industry. Furthermore, it exemplifies BSP's commitment to social investment and its pivotal role in nurturing local talent in alignment with Brunei Vision 2035.

The journey into the world of geochemistry at the BSP Production Chemistry lab serves as a testament to the power of collaboration between academia and industry, enriching the education of tomorrow's geoscientists and contributing to the realization of Brunei's vision of Wawasan 2035.

Dr Elena Ifandi, Assistant Lecturer and Postdoctoral Fellow for UBD Geosciences Programme shared her gratitude for the collaboration, “We would like to express our cordial thanks to you and all the team for yesterday’s exciting and informative visit to the Operation Chemistry facilities! Our students have been enthusiastic with everything they learnt and from the opportunity to see a real-world application of Geochemistry.”

Today, the Geosciences program at UBD stands as a beacon of excellence, holding the prestigious distinction of being the only academic program in Brunei to receive international accreditation from AUN-QA (ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance). Committed to continuous improvement and adaptation to global market trends, the program aligns its goals with the vision of Wawasan 2035, emphasising quality education and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In response to recommendations from AUN-QA assessors, the Geosciences Program is in the process of revising its curriculum to ensure that future graduates are equipped with the skills to excel nationally and internationally.

In pursuit of these objectives, UBD and BSP have worked together in crafting this invaluable exposure to the practical application of geochemistry in the oil and gas industry. This exposure allows the student to immerse themselves in the real-world demands and practices of the industry to better prepare to meet the challenges of their future careers.

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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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BSP the first to achieve Recognised Assessment Project Engineering 2/Project Service 2 standard by APM in Brunei

On Monday, May 22, 2023, Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) celebrated a noteworthy achievement – BSP was accredited with Route 2 Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) in Project Engineering and Project Services Level 2 by the Association of Project Management (APM). The ChPP is a professional benchmark that demonstrates attainment of defined level of technical knowledge and professional practice. As the first organisation to be accredited by APM in Brunei, this achievement reflects and recognises the strong professionalism and competency development in BSP. 

The road to this accomplishment was far from short – it required meticulous review of pre-existing competency assessment. In this case, the Asset and Engineering Projects (AEP) department focused on BSP’s Project Engineering (PE) and Project Service (PS) competency framework and analysed how it can satisfy the ChPP requirement. After 10 months of review and development, an opportunity in BSP PE/PS competency framework was realised as a Recognised Assessment – candidates that achieve PE/PS Level 2 certificates are now  recognised for the Chartered Project Professional standard  route 2 with the APM. This is a true testament of hard work and dedication as the process conventionally takes up to two (2) years to complete.

This milestone was celebrated at a commemorative ceremony on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the Atrium, BSP Head Office. Present at the event were Erik Legius, BSP Technical Director as the Guest of Honour; Michel Maistre, BSP Asset Director;  Jason Romero, Head of Operational Excellence in Human Resources; as well as members of the BSP Extended Leadership Network.

David Hughes, General Manager Project & Engineering  and key sponsor of the initiative, presented the BSP Accreditation award to Voon Oi Mee, Head of Offshore Projects, and Chairperson of the Project Management Community of Practice (PM-CoP).

“This is a very significant milestone for BSP as we celebrate this accreditation. It’s a showcase of pure collaboration between Project Management experts while working closely with our counterparts in Shell Global and APM with the support from Human Resources (HR) as well as Communications & External Affairs (CEA) – a true testament of I AM BSP values,” Oi Mee shared. 

Voon Oi Mee receiving the accreditation award on behalf of the PM-CoP

To honour this momentous occasion, a special award was given to Hj Zalani Lalim, Head of Rejuvenation Projects. Hj Zalani achieved Project Engineering Level 2 as part of this recognised framework, thus becoming eligible for Route 2 ChPP.

BSP Asset Director also took the opportunity to handover an amazing award to David Hughes, who was granted Project Engineering Level 4 (Project Director Level) competency by Shell, in addition to his pre-existing Chartership and Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering and Association for Project Management.

David Hughes commented “BSP has some very talented project engineering, project services and project management staff, this accreditation with the APM will allow those that achieve PE/PS level 2 to be recognised by an international, professional competency standard. This is a fantastic achievement for BSP and for the wider professional community in Brunei as we demonstrate the quality of staff that Brunei has developed through the Brunei Shell JV companies. I would like to recognise the small team led by Oi-Mee who put so much hard work into preparing for and achieving this significant accreditation”.

Through this milestone, the Project Engineering Community of Practice hopes to inspire more colleagues to join the community, increasing their capability for personal achievement while bettering individual and corporate standards. This effort is to support and adhere to the BSP Bersatu vision of fostering pride while future-proofing Orang Kitani and thus, supporting the nation’s goals for Wawasan 2035.

BSP-AEPLT and some of the PM-COP core team

Booths showcase on PM-COP activities and JCP (Job Competence Profile) framework

Celebrated the event with AD, TD, HD Delegate, AEP and the PM-COP community.

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When the Unwanted Happens, How Do We Ensure that We Fail Safely?

One of the most important aspects in safety is the Human element. As safety is our number 1 priority in BSP, it is critical for each employee to be accountable in operating our business safely, ensuring zero impact to our people, our assets, our community and our environment. This is captured in the theme for this year’s Safety Day: How do we Fail Safely?

Failing Safely is ensuring that we remain vigilant to our surroundings, that we identify and safeguard against all possible risks in the event of a mistake or failure. This is part of creating a safe environment, which enable employees to focus on tasks at hand without fear of incident.

On Tuesday, July 4, 2023, BSP held a kick-off event for Safety Day at the Brunei Shell Recreation Club (BSRC). At the kick-off, Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, Managing Director of BSP, emphasised the importance of Failing Safely, illustrating  how we have accepted this in our everyday lives by wearing seatbelt before driving as a way to protect ourselves in the case of an accident – the same approach should be adopted in our ways of working.

Failing safely should be seen as an opportunity for learning and growth rather than something to be feared or punished. By setting up a strong feedback loop and using failure as a learning tool, we can help each other to be successful and ensure that when we do fail, we do so safely” she shared.

Osmera Othman, BSP Head of HSE and Security, added that we must recognise mistakes as part of the human experience, and we need to create a system that allows for mistakes to be made without causing harm to anyone.

Recognising the network of partners involved in BSP operations, Safety Day was also open to Business Partners alongside students from selected educational institutions. This enables knowledge exchange as well as an opportunity to learn some of the safety culture and best practices in BSP.

At the launch event, BSP colleagues and business partners showcased new technologies and set-up interactive games to raise awareness of failing safely. The Services Transport & Logistics (STL) team demonstrated "Safe Driving" using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology by installing cameras in heavy fleet (large vehicles) that can monitor driver awareness during road travel. The Darat Pipeline team shared on their Hydro Test procedure, a process that minimises risks for potential line of fire. Agora, another AI tool adopted by the BSP Wells team, demonstrated its ability to assess safety conditions on the rig floor during drilling operations. The tool does this by monitoring the drill floor and triggering audio or visual alarm when personnel are detected entering the dangerous area or the Line of Fire.

BSP Safety Day is a yearly event that allows the organisation to take a step back and have conversations around BSP’s safety journey and safety commitments both at organisational and individual level. While formally kicked-off at a launching event, Safety Day conversations continue all year-round and are encouraged to be carried out by all departments alongside their business partner colleagues.

Safety Day embodies BSP’s commitment to its number 1 priority, which aspires for Goal Zero: Zero Harm, Zero Leaks.

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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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Brunei Energy Hub: Showcasing Bruneian Energy Journey

The newly launched Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja stands as a significant tribute to the country’s history and serves as an interactive educational centre for the public to learn about the importance of the energy industry to the local economy as well as everyday lives.

Launched on Sunday, October 23, 2022 by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Hub is a significant collective initiative from founding partners Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd (Brunei LNG), Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd (BSM) and Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC), in close collaboration with the Government of His Majesty.

The Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja is “a gift to the nation” that enables visitors to explore what life in Brunei was like before the discovery of oil in 1929, learn about the industry today and the strategies that are in place for a greener future with affordable and sustainable energy.


The Hub is located in the historic landmark of the Royal Customs and Excise heritage building at the heart of the capital. Touching on the decision to convert this building to an interactive oil and gas museum, the statement notes that it is closest to Ayer Berkunchi, one of the earliest exploration sites for oil and gas in Brunei Darussalam, and is in line with the government’s aspirations to repurpose old buildings.

“Since 2019, BSP, Brunei LNG, BSM and BGC have been working closely with the Government of His Majesty, which includes relevant parties from the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Development and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to successfully bring into life the vision of making Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja a reality,” shared Hajah Zainab M.A. Omar, BSP Human Resources Director and the Business Opportunity Manager who led the project on behalf of the four companies.

“Alhamdulillah, the Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja is now set to be a key hub for the public and tourists alike to learn more about the rich history and contributions of the oil and gas industry in Brunei,” Hajah Zainab continued.

Meanwhile, BSP Managing Director and Shell Country Chair Brunei Darussalam Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis hopes that the Brunei Energy Hub Dermaga Diraja will inspire the next generation.  “Energy is such an important part of Brunei’s past but also the future. I hope that as the public brings their family for a visit, they will get inspired by the rich history of the oil and gas industry in Brunei and how it has contributed immensely to the country. I also hope that everyone will learn and understand better about what we do and what the future energy can look like – especially for the next generation so that they too can contribute further to Brunei and make history,” shared Agnete.


Sharing her hopes for a more sustainable future, Agnete added, “As we move forward, we want to inspire the next generation. We need energy, the world needs energy, and there’s an opportunity here for our local youth and adults to come explore, experiment and learn about renewable energy  and what that could mean for Brunei in the future.”

Brunei Darussalam has been blessed with a prosperous oil and gas industry since the first drop of commercial oil which was discovered in 1929 in Seria. Today, over 90 years later, oil and gas continue as a backbone of Brunei Darussalam’s economy. The Energy Sector including the oil and gas industry contributes to more than 50 per cent of our country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

“BSP, Brunei LNG, BSM and BGC have contributed to the country’s growth and economy over the past decades, and we intend to continue powering our nation’s future,” said Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, BSP Managing Director and Shell Country Chair Brunei Darussalam.

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A Field to be Proud of: Champion Field Celebrates Golden Jubilee

2022 marks another milestone for Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) as it celebrates its Champion field’s 50th anniversary. Let’s recount its early beginning. 


The Champion field that we know so well today started with “Big John”, the drilling rig that hailed all the way from the U.S in 1970. Located 40 kilometres offshore from Berakas water, the field was aptly named after its location on the Champion shoal. 

By May of the same year, the exploration well was production tested, and hydrocarbon presence was further confirmed – and so began the journey of the largest producing field for BSP today. 

But the road to full-on production was not immediate. It was only in 1972 that the first producing oil flowed from the Champion 4 (CP-4) well on the Champion Drilling Platform 1 (CPDP-1). Soon after, the oil made its way from the offshore production station to the onshore Seria Terminal, now known as Seria Crude Oil Terminal (SCOT), approximately 100 kilometres away.  

Since then, the field has played a significant role in enabling BSP to contribute to the development of the country and the nation of Brunei Darussalam.


Boasting several technical firsts in its life, Champion’s history of firsts began only one year into its production. 

By 1973, Champion became the first field to launch a jacket from a vessel into the water, for its CPDP-4 platform. This practice was commonly executed via lifting by crane barges, however due to the size and weight of the jacket, a launch from a ship was required instead.

Less than a decade later, a new method of launching was devised for Champion’s Drilling Platform AL. The jacket was launched from the stern of a barge sideways (side-launched), and the procedure marked a first in the industry for both Brunei and Shell worldwide. 

Continuing its records of firsts, in 1982, the Champion 3D seismic survey was proposed to improve the structural interpretation of the massive Champion oilfield. The two-boat operation consequently saw the acquisition of the seismic data in the world by 1983. 

By mid 2000s, Champion recorded two more firsts as it executed the installation of Brunei’s first SMART platform on Champion West, before achieving the completion of the longest snake well in Champion West Phase 3A field in 2006. 


While its beginning started with a humble platform, Champion has grown well into the massive complex it is today. With 46 offshore structures built and more than 420 wells erected, totalling to 850 kilometres in distance – Champion has been a marvel for progress. 

In its 50 years of life, Champion has produced more than 900 million barrels of oil equivalent, enabling 50 years of powering Bruneian homes, schools, and hospitals. And behind these achievements are generations of talented workforce who undoubtedly will help propel Champion into a greater future paving the road for BSP to sustainably power Brunei.

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Local Take On Sand-Retention

Controlling sand during production is one of the industry’s biggest challenges in the pursuit for hydrocarbons. For BSP, surrounded by the distinct nature of the regional geology in Borneo, this is a shared challenge.

To extract oil and gas, wells are drilled to reach pockets of hydrocarbons underground – while the journey might seem easy on paper, drilling through rocks is just one of the barriers our engineers have to overcome.

Sand is one of the common materials that can hinder hydrocarbon extraction process by entering the well. To manage this, Sand Retention is utilised, a process in which sand is held back from entering wells by wire screens. Much like a coffee filter, which separates coffee ground from precious caffeinated liquid, the screens work to prevent sand from seeping into a well hole.

However, the selection of the best screen is a highly technical process, with many factors to be considered. Upfront numerical modelling and computer simulations are trending to become the key to a successful and maximised hydrocarbons production.

Bringing Outside In: Localising Sand Retention Needs 

Recognising an opportunity to develop local capabilities in this space, BSP signed a three-year contract in 2020 in partnership with Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB). The contract aims to create a commercial sand screen testing facility at UTB providing new and more efficient tests to identify how to reduce sand production by selecting proper downhole sand screens. 

The research sees the collaboration between BSP, UTB as well as Imperial College London (ICL) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 

Professor Stephen Tyson, the Principal Investigator of the project said, “This project represents a transformational moment for UTB. We are showing that UTB and its research partners are capable of delivering the highest quality of research to local industry. We are employing and training young, Bruneian engineers and technicians and I am very proud of their achievements.”

The focus on local capabilities is echoed by the 12 Bruneian researchers and technicians who are employed to support the project –  a true testament highlighting Bruneian talents who are creating solutions for an industry-wide technical problem.

What’s Next?

With research outcomes progressing the project, the research team is refining the calibration of the lab equipment to match its current counterpart – a sand retention testing facility in Houston.

Paired with continued and consistent sand retention testing experiments that can hopefully come to commercial fruition, this opens up a potential not only for UTB to have the capability to test all types of sample screen, but to be the testing hub in the Asia region.

Amal Majeedah Aji, BSP contract holder for the project, shared positive outlook on the project. 

“Through this project, not only do we see close collaboration between BSP and UTB, but the opportunity to deepen local understanding on sand screen designs that could positively impact life of our wells. This project is a great example of public-private partnership to create local capabilities that will progress Wawasan 2035 of having highly-skilled individuals.” 

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Day In The Life Of: IFM Maintenance Coordinator

By 7:00am, the Salam team is already parked outside of Sanggang, the office sheltering a segment of the expansive team under the Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) organisation. As we drag our heavy feet and bleary eyes into the office for our DILO (Day in the Life Of) shadowing session, Azeez welcomed us with sheer enthusiasm and bright eyes. 

Early mornings are commonplace for Azeez, IFM’s Maintenance Coordinator. Even before the start of official working hours, Azeez is already in the office reviewing the relevant documentation such as Hazard Identification Plan, Job Hazard Analysis prior to approving the assigned multiple Permit to Work (PTW) under his area of accountability to enable the contractors to carry out the day’s necessary operations. 

Permit to Work is a documented procedure that authorises certain people to carry out work at a specified place, date and time. It is an essential license that can enable people to assess not only the scope of a work but determine the associated risks and mitigations that come along with it. This is especially integral for Azeez every morning before he sets off for his daily patrol, which requires him to oversee that these works are carried out according to what’s specified in the PTW and scope of works.

As the maintenance coordinator for IFM, Azeez’s portfolio not limited to the quaint community of Panaga which  oversee the maintenance and rejuvenation of house for over 700 Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) families, may it before, during or even after their occupancy but also covering BSPIndustrial assets inclusive of offices, Panaga School, clubs and health centre. 

Although less than a year on the role, we can tell that Azeez is already familiar with the in-and-outs of the trade. When asked about how he finds the role so far, Azeez shares his answer as he drives us to our first destination of the day. 

“The pace can be intense, but it’s a great learning experience. You get familiar with the how-dos pretty quick,” he says casually, weaving through the maze within the Panaga compound effortlessly, “And you get to meet a lot of diverse people, may it be tenants, government stakeholders or even our many contractors.” 

We’re heading towards the E1 area located at the end of Jalan Tengah, where apartments, bungalows as well as single-storey houses are nestled. When we arrived at the destination, on one of the near completed houses, Azeez did a final verification to ensure that the house is delivered with acceptable quality and now ready for move-in before allowing the maintenance team to be mobilised to another location. 

And off we went to the second destination. During this travel time, we took the chance to pry. 

We ask Azeez to share his most significant experience so far on the job. 

“It’s definitely being involved in the preparation work for operation bubbles,” he mentions, “Our onshore and offshore colleagues had to go in isolation prior to entering their operation bubbles as an effort to minimise the COVID-19 spread, and we had to prepare the accommodations to enable that.” 

While the second wave was unexpected, the IFM team was well prepared with learnings from the first wave, to get in motion – they had the accommodations ready within a week with the good collaboration and support from relevant teams including business partners.

When we arrived at our second location, we were lucky enough to find the working team meeting in the rest area having their toolbox talk.

While the Salam team is all too familiar with the dangers and mitigations discussed in production operations toolbox talk, we learn a lot of regular day-to-day house renovation associated risks in this one.

Paint fumes, tools housekeeping and being in the line of fire during the simple act of hammering are meticulously considered, with every risk given a mitigation. Azeez plays a role during this discussion by not only listening in and verifying the discussed risks, but to add on in case some are missed – paying close attention to the quality, understanding of the team members on the delivered TBT and the detail of today’s operations as described in the PTW & display board.

With the sound of the chirping birds, talks of wildlife risks in the background, and a monkey staring at us from the tree – it’s safe to say that Azeez’s secondary office is very interesting in comparison to our corporate cubicles. 

This goes to show that in a company of 4000 staff, with almost 20,000 contractors, there is never a dull day in BSP. Everyone plays a part in making sure that not only production continues to keep the lights on in Brunei, but in keeping our people and our operations safe in different ways. Azeez is one of those people.

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Petrofes: Sew it Begins

2020 marks a milestone for a Bruneian company as the ink dries on a contract between Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) and Petrofes, further generating In-Country Value in the local supply chain. With the agreement, Petrofes is now the go-to provider for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for BSP, providing fire-retardant coveralls, headscarves as well as balaclavas.

This is a huge milestone not only for Petrofes, but for the local capabilities’ scene. Behind Petrofes, driving the business from planning all the way to production, are our very own Bruneian talents. What started as a humble team of four has now expanded to a group of 18 highly driven employees by 2022. 

At the time of the interview, it is interesting to note that not all staff are cut out from the same material. 

We have Hazlim, who oversees the overall day-to-day operations; Hafiz, who ensures the quality of each PPE produced; and Adibah, who has an important role of a seamstress. 

Interestingly, Hafiz did not start in production – but rather, in safety. 

This got us asking Hazlim, the General Manager herself. 

“It is because we want our people to expand their knowledge here in Petrofes,” she says, as we stand amidst cut fabric, humming sewing machines and muted K-Pop tunes. “While we look for a certain criteria during recruitment, we make sure that they have room to grow in the company. That’s why some of them go into rotation,” she motions to Hafiz as an example. 

However, the group of all-female seamstresses are on a different development path. As the skill lie in the woman-hours put into the work, the team of seamstresses began their journey with a 3-month training period. But of course, going above and beyond, the talented group of ladies managed to complete their training half of the time needed. Since then, they have produced 451 (as of end of March 2022) pairs of coveralls, on top of the 675 headscarves and balaclavas ready to protect the 4000 something Brunei Shell Petroleum employees. 

Adibah, who is coming to her first year in the company shares, “We have all grown and learnt a lot since our start at Petrofes. Our strategic production model has helped us produce more than what we aim every month.” At only 19 years old, Adibah is steadily and surely building the skills to master the art of cutting and sewing. 

But while the people play an integral role in making sure the business runs, Hazlim also stresses the importance of being agile and having a learner mindset in managing Petrofes. Feedback is particularly important for Petrofes’ improvement journey and in making sure they remain competitive in the market. They have been sensitive and intuitive to customers’ feedback and queries. 

“We make sure to listen not only to responses and feedback from our contract holder,” Hazlim explains, “But also those who dropped by our branch and make their opinions known.” 

These inputs have been instrumental in helping Hazlim and the team shape their planning, from cutting adjustments all the way to product evolution – this is how fire-retardant headscarves came about as part of their line of product. 

On top of that, it is also about learning from experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a challenge in the supply chain for fire-retardant fabric in 2020, but they quickly take the learning as a reason to re-assess their business plan and fabric orders. By 2021, Hazlim and the team are familiar with what are needed to keep the business going. 

Despite the outstanding success so far, there is still an aspiration to grow for Petrofes. 

“We wish to expand our product line – perhaps one day to produce complete Personal Protective Equipment, and we also want to grow our people, in numbers and capabilities,” Hazlim shares.  

They also endeavour to create more local employments opportunities in the near future, and considering the success they have left in their path, we are sure this will be realised soon.

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