Brunei, Omani oil professionals discuss bilateral cooperation in sector

|      James Kon      |

HIGH-LEVEL officials, professionals and operators from the oil and gas industry of Brunei Darussalam and Oman convened yesterday at the Banquet Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office for the third Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar, themed ‘Brunei and Oman Partnership: Strengthening Cooperation Towards Enhancing Resilience’.

The April 23 – 24 seminar is jointly organised by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman.

Its objective is to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices between Brunei Darussalam and Oman and to allow both sides to explore bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including upstream and downstream opportunities in the sector.

Among the topics discussed include mutual cooperation opportunities (including in-country value and manpower) in the industry, upstream and downstream oil and gas cooperation, and industry resilience in terms of sector transformation for the sake of long-term energy security in light of global energy shifts.

Present at the opening ceremony were Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein and Minister of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, who is also head of the Omani delegation.

Both ministers agreed there are many potential opportunities for the two nations to explore and expressed their hope that the seminar would encourage further dialogue, exchange of information and best practices, and enhance cooperation in the oil and gas industry.

Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein and Minister of Oil and Gas of the Sultanate of Oman Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy touring the exhibition. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

The seminar comprised of three sessions centred on the topics: In-Country Value (ICV); upstream and downstream cooperation; and manpower.

The first session saw panellists discussing ICV initiatives and its implementation in the oil and gas sector of Brunei Darussalam and Oman. It was shared that ICV is being practised by both countries as a means to encourage economic spin-offs via the utilisation of local goods and services and employment of local worker as part of localisation initiatives in the energy and energy-related industries.

In the second session, representatives from both Brunei and Oman highlighted a focus on developments in the upstream and downstream energy sector. During the session on upstream energy, the panelists discussed potential areas of collaboration and opportunities in the energy downstream industry between the two countries.

In a separate panel discussion, representatives from Brunei presented on the country’s upcoming downstream mega projects such as Hengyi’s Pulau Muara Besar oil refinery and petrochemical plant and Brunei Fertilizer Industries’ (BFI) ammonia and urea plant.

Day one of the seminar concluded with the third session on manpower. Both countries’ ongoing initiatives in training skilled manpower for their respective oil and gas industries were discussed in the session.

Representatives from MEMI notably shared the ministry’s existing up-skilling and re-skilling programme, while the Omani representative presented on the human capacity development initiatives under the Sultanate of Oman’s National Training Fund.

An official welcoming dinner in honour of the Omani delegation was also held at Tarindak D’Polo, Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong yesterday evening.

Deputy Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the MEMI Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary (Manpower) at the MEMI Haji Zolkiflee bin Haji Abdul Karim, Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the MEMI Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Industry) at the MEMI Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power) at the MEMI Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra and Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari also attended.

As a part of the programme to introduce Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy and the rest of the Omani delegation to the latest industrial and infrastructure developments in Brunei, they will be taken on an aerial tour of key upstream and downstream sites as well as key national infrastructure projects.

They will also take a helicopter to view Pulau Muara Besar and the Temburong Bridge Project.

Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy and the Omani delegation will be joined by Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof; Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry; Deputy Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry; and Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the MEMI.

The longstanding shared values and similar energy landscapes of Brunei Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman have been key in nurturing close ties between the two nations, with the Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar – first held in 2014 in Brunei and last held in Muscat, Oman in 2016 – symbolising this partnership.

This relationship is further fortified with the exchange of professionals through the staff cross-posting between Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd and Petroleum Development Oman, an arrangement which has been ongoing for several years.

The biennial seminar, hosted alternately between Brunei and Oman, was established as a platform to share best practices in areas of mutual interest between both nations and to foster joint opportunities, as well as to enhance understanding of the business and investment environments in both countries, especially in focus industry sectors.