May 16, 2020
This year, Ramadhan is different for everyone around the world following the COVID-19 pandemic. Days of breaking fast or praying with extended families and friends are no longer possible – simple actions that we look forward to every year as we celebrate the holy month. For our operational colleagues at Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), these activities are what make Ramadhan special with their co-workers as they live away from their homes and families while making sure business runs as usual.
However, in light of COVID-19, changes were necessary. While the world lives in uncertainty, we know one thing is for sure – Brunei needs Energy, it needs Energy to keep the lights on in our hospitals, to ensure our students have the electricity to study from home, and to make sure businesses keep running.
Making sure that Brunei still has Energy are the frontliners: the men and women working round the clock to make sure BSP continues delivering for the country.
Ramadhan is commonly a tough time for the frontliners as they brave the hot weather, rough seas and working conditions while fasting from dawn to dusk. While many of us can call it a day after Ramadhan working hours, for most of them, work and home are the same place.
It Gets Tougher
As a precautionary measure, BSP implemented a temporary change of shift rotation for several of its offshore and onshore operations from a one or two-week shift to a 28-day shift (28/28). This measure is a part of BSP’s Business Continuity Plan for COVID-19 to limit crew change and movements in order to ensure that critical day-to-day activities continue, stable production is maintained while risks of exposure to the COVID-19 virus are minimised.
“The changes will help control and reduce the risks for personnel staying onboard – by reducing exposure, on top of practising social distancing and maintaining self-hygiene, we are doing our part to flatten the curve,” explains Hjh Nurhamizah binti Hj Bujang, the Acting Electrical Lead on Fairley 4.
The New Normal
Nur Halijah Binti Halim, a Control Room Operator at Seria Crude Oil Terminal (SCOT), shared that workday in Ramadhan starts as early as 4:00 am for Sahur. By 5:45 am, her and the rest of the crew are already boarded on the bus to take them to SCOT for their 6:00 am – 6:00 pm shift. While on a regular day they could go home at the end of shift, the new arrangements bring them back to their allocated living quarters for the 28/28 period.
“As a mother with four kids - with the youngest still an infant - it is very challenging to be away from my family,” she shared, “But it is important to remember that it is still our responsibility to make sure we continue fuelling the country.”
Junior Permit Issue Point for BSP’s Darat Operations, Erna Marleyia binti Hj Md Deli takes comfort in the frontliners’ resilience despite the new changes, “I’m very proud of myself and my colleagues in operation for still being able to focus and deliver stable operations whilst ensuring our safety, health and the welfare of our families, communities and customers are met, especially this Ramadhan.”
Staying Motivated by Looking Ahead In these unprecedented times, positive mindset and preparations are integral in staying motivated.
“If our health frontliners can do it and sacrifice their time and personal life to help others, there is no reason for us to not do our part when we are needed the most,” explains Asyran bin Hj Mohd Yakub, a Production Lead on Ampa 9.
The I AM BSP mindset of being accountable, focused and collaborating are his motivation to keep going, “Although I won’t be having Hari Raya with my family this year as my shift begins in May, I have made sure to prepare the house so my wife and kids can still have a festive celebration without my presence.”
For Jasmadi bin Besar, Complex Shift Supervisor on Champion 7, he looks forward to returning home to Temburong just in time for Raya. “I am thankful for the opening of the Brunei-Muara Temburong bridge as I was able to clear critical errands before going on shift so that my family has ample grocery supplies and daily essentials. Alhamdulillah, this year I will be able to celebrate Hari Raya with them.”
Dr Ceri Powell, Managing Director of BSP, shares her pride when asked about the Energy frontliners, “Everyone is coming together in solidarity to ensure that we continue to deliver Energy for Brunei. Thank you to our Energy frontliners offshore and onshore for their dedication and personal sacrifices. It remains far from easy but together, we will prevail, safely and surely. We are in this together, and we will all make a difference.”