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From Rigs to Regional

Published on June 30, 2023

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.