Workshop focusses on UK oil and gas assets decommissioning

|     James Kon     |

A FOUR-DAY Decommissioning and Restoration Workshop, hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam for oil and gas industry assets, held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) building, concluded yesterday.

Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the MEMI Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya was the guest of honour.

Participants included officials from the MEMI, Ministry of Development (MoD), Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), Ministry of Transportation and Infocommunications (MTIC), Brunei National Petroleum Company (PetroleumBRUNEI), and the Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA).

The four-day workshop gave an overview of the regulatory framework in the decommissioning, restoration and waste management of oil and gas facilities implemented in the United Kingdom (UK).

Topics discussed included decommis-sioning and restoration activities relating to wells, pipelines, environment and waste management.

Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya and British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay in a group photo with workshop participants. – JAMES KON

The workshop aimed to benefit the MEMI as the country’s energy regulator and authorities in their efforts to carry out future decommissioning and restoration activities safely and responsibly.

Three visiting experts from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) participated in the workshop and shared their knowledge and experience on the regulation of de-commissioning and restoration activities, including waste management.

In his opening remarks, Haji Azhar highlighted that this year marks 90 years since Brunei first began onshore oil production, and 56 years since offshore production of crude oil was initiated.

With this in mind, he added, some infrastructure will have reached the end of their lifespans and many more will also reach the end of their useful life in the near future, all of which “will need to be handled and removed responsibly”.

The permanent secretary encouraged the participants to learn as much as possible about the field from the subject matter experts, and to adopt the procedures and best practices used in the UK in Brunei.

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay meanwhile in his opening remarks highlighted that the UK has established the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) to ensure that decommissioning and restoration activities are regulated and managed effectively.

“I am delighted that this workshop is being hosted, as it allows for knowledge and experience-sharing between Brunei Darussalam and the UK,” he said. “We intend to continue supporting Brunei Darussalam as it embarks on plans to launch its own decommissioning and restoration programmes over the coming decades.”