Unsung heroes at sea

Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd

Every year on February 23, Bruneians across the country celebrate National Day with much passion and energy.

While thousands gather in colourful and patriotic ensembles at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, hundreds of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) employees don their orange coveralls in the middle of the sea.

The locations are different, but the intent is similar – to display their sense of pride and patriotism.

THE CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL DAY OFFSHORE IS A SPECIAL BSP TRADITION

Festivities are scheduled into the weekly operational plan for manned platforms and complexes to make sure that National Day is safely celebrated, while ensuring critical day-to-day activities continue to be carried out and stable production is maintained.

Crew of Brunei Shell Petroleum’s Ampa 9 in a group photo. PHOTOS: BSP
FROM LEFT: Offshore Installation Manager of the Champion 7 Complex Dayangku Sapiah binti Pengiran Ismail, Field Production Operator Zulfadli bin Zaili and Operation Installation Manager of Ampa 9 Haji Syamaizar bin Haji Mat Daud
ABOVE & BELOW: Ampa 6 Electrical Supervisor Nur Hazirah binti Abdul Rahman; Champion 7 Graduate Production Analyst Abdul Haziq Hazmi bin Haji Abdul Nasir; and Crew of BSP’s Champion 7 celebrate the National Day offshore

For the Offshore Installation Manager of the Champion 7 Complex Dayangku Sapiah binti Pengiran Ismail, that means making sure all frontline personnel are on standby and on call.

Dayangku Sapiah is accountable for the safety of the Champion 7 platform and the people working within its vast complex.

Her efforts ensure that the “24-hour operation” is maintained smoothly so that the nation is provided with the energy needed to keep the lights on and the cars running.

SHOWING APPRECIATION WITH MASS PRAYERS

Celebrations offshore begin on the eve of National Day, when crew members gather for mass Maghrib prayer with recitation of Surah Yaasiin and Doa Selamat. At the crack of dawn the next morning, the sea is greeted by a mass of orange coveralls waving the Brunei flag and marching with pride, work boots clunking on the steel platforms.

The revelry continues with the hoisting of the national flag to the sound of the Brunei national anthem filling the air. Next up, the reading of the National Day oath followed by a special dinner before crew members resume their operations.

Over on Fairley 4, Field Production Operator Zulfadli bin Zaili shares his joy and pride when asked about celebrating National Day offshore.

“Frontline work is physically and mentally challenging, he said.

“There are times when you have to work for extended hours, battling the hot sun, bad weather, big waves and sea sickness.

“But Brunei needs energy, and it’s important to remember that.”

REALISING THE NATIONAL VISION

Operation Installation Manager of Ampa 9 Haji Syamaizar bin Haji Mat Daud shared how honoured he is to be working offshore on National Day.

“I personally feel it is an honour work-ing offshore, as the nature of our job is to directly fuel Brunei’s present and future.”

This proud feeling is a common sentiment, highlighting the uniqueness of celebrating National Day offshore.

It is celebrating Brunei while providing the energy that fuels the nation.

For the people offshore, the hardships of living and working in the middle of the sea away from relatives and friends are secondary to what it means for the country.

“Our number one priority is safety, and a safe operation means a stable operation – this leads to a stable cash flow for the country,” added Haji Syamaizar.

“However, the meaning of Menjayakan Wawasan Negara (realising the national vision) goes beyond delivering for today. It is also thinking about tomorrow.”

BRUNEIAN-LED, TODAY AND TOMORROW

For Ampa 6 Electrical Supervisor Nur Hazirah binti Abdul Rahman, National Day is a time to reflect on a shared duty to ensure Brunei will continue to have highly skilled individuals.

This includes making sure that there is always room for continuous improvement.

“Our continuous improvement culture at BSP ensures that the teams we lead have the right trainings, the right knowledge, and the right competence to ensure that we deliver not just for BSP, but for Brunei Darussalam.

“Not just today, but for many more years to come.”

This sentiment is echoed by Champion 7 Graduate Production Analyst Abdul Haziq Hazmi bin Haji Abdul Nasir who believes that part of realising Brunei’s Vision 2035 is by continuously learning from his offshore colleagues with many more years of experience.

“It is to ensure that myself and others can develop to contribute to Brunei Vision 2035 aspiration of ensuring our people are highly educated and highly competent.

“In addition, I can contribute with sharing the knowledge to develop others as well,” he said.

PROUDLY CELEBRATING NATIONAL DAY

Dayangku Sapiah sums up National Day celebration as a reminder of how far we have come as a country.

“While we celebrate more than 90 years of fuelling Brunei Darussalam in BSP, we are grateful to be living in Brunei as a peaceful and blessed country that has been independent for 36 years,” she said.

“As Bruneians, we should be proud of how Brunei has developed in the last 36 years, and the sense of pride should always be sustained and be reminded to our future generation.

“It is a reminder for everyone to contribute to the development of the country, and to continue fuelling Brunei’s future.”