Energy frontliners working round the clock to deliver during Ramadhan

Brunei Shell Petroleum

This year, Ramadhan is different for everyone around the world as we battle 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 Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), these communal activities are what make Ramadhan special with their co-workers as they live away from their homes and families while ensuring the business runs as smoothly as always.

However, in view of COVID-19, changes were necessary.

While the world lives in uncertainty in 2020, one thing remains certain – Brunei needs energy, and 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 to generate employment.

Making sure that Brunei still has energy are the energy frontliners – the men and women working round the clock exploring, developing and producing oil and gas.

Ramadhan is commonly a tough time for the energy 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 adjusted period of working in Ramadhan, for them the shift pattern doesn’t change, it is delivering 24/7.

Our energy frontliners are working around the clock to explore, develop and produce oil and gas to ensure the country has the energy required to operate. Ramadhan is typically a tough time for them, as they brave the hot weather, rough seas and working conditions, while fasting from dawn to dusk. Photo shows the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) Darat Operations crew in high spirits
ABOVE & BELOW: Acting Electrical Lead on Fairley 4 Hajah Nurhamizah binti Haji Bujang and Complex Shift Supervisor at Champion 7 Jasmadi bin Besar. PHOTOS: BSP

ABOVE & BELOW: Junior Permit Issue Point for BSP’s Darat Operations Erna Marleyia binti Haji Md Deli; Production Lead on Ampa 9 Asyran bin Haji Mohd Yakub; and Control Room Operator at Seria Crude Oil Terminal (SCOT) Nur Halijah binti Halim

BSP crew at Champion 7 offshore site in a group photo

IT GETS TOUGHER

Before Ramadhan this year, 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). Why? This measure is a part of BSP’s business continuity plan for COVID-19 to limit crew change and movements 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,” explained Acting Electrical Lead on Fairley 4 Hajah Nurhamizah binti Haji Bujang.

THE NEW NORMAL

A Control Room Operator at Seria Crude Oil Terminal (SCOT) Nur Halijah binti Halim shared that a workday in Ramadhan starts as early as 4am for Sahur. By 5.45am, she and the rest of the crew are already on the bus to bring them to SCOT for their 6am to 6pm 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 Haji Md Deli takes comfort in the frontliners’ resilience despite the new changes, “I’m very proud of myself and my colleagues 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,” said a Production Lead on Ampa 9 Asyran bin Haji Mohd Yakub.

The ‘I AM BSP’ mindset of being accountable, focussed and collaborating is 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 Complex Shift Supervisor on Champion 7 Jasmadi bin Besar, he looks forward to returning home to the Temburong District just in time for Hari Raya.

“I am thankful for the opening of the Brunei-Muara to 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.”

Managing Director of BSP Dr Ceri M Powell shared her pride when asked about the energy frontliners. She said, “Everyone is coming together in solidarity to ensure that we continue to deliver energy for Brunei. Thank you to our energy frontliners who work 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.”