Deputy Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw delivering his remarks. Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

Brunei may need to hire another 15,000 people to service its oil and gas sector within the next few years, considering the fast-paced developments in at the industry’s upstream and downstream levels, said Deputy Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry.

Speaking at the opening of a workshop hosted by the Brunei’s Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Dato Seri Paduka Hj Matsatejo Sokiaw outlined some of the latest oil and gas investments that may demand more resources in the future.

At the upstream level, the deputy minister shared that Brunei is currently searching for more deep-water oil wells particularly those that can go beyond 2,000 metres depth while also decommissioning its old assets and restore them.

“In a way, Brunei is in a unique and very challenging situation where we are currently executing all phases of the full cycle of hydrocarbon project development at the same time from exploration, development, operation, asset rejuvenation, enhanced recovery to decommissioning and restoration,” he said.

At the downstream level, the deputy minister shared that Brunei is currently in the midst of constructing an Ammonia/Urea Plant capable of producing 1.2 million tonne per annum and will be operational by 2021.

“Brunei have also completed the construction of 165,000 barrels per day (bpd) Refinery and Petrochemical Plant in Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) which will be operational early next year,” the deputy minister said.

“There is also a plan to continue with the second phase of the PMB Refinery and Petrochemical Complex that will increase the refining capacity to around 500,000 bpd which will make it one of the biggest complexes in the region,” he added.

The deputy minister estimated the total investments in the new downstream projects are estimated at about $20 billion altogether.

Two nodding donkeys seen in Seria. Image: The Bruneian

“With such huge investment…there are ample opportunities for our local companies to develop their capabilities not only to service the industry in Brunei but also in the region,” he said.

“Currently the oil and gas sector is employing around 20,000 people. We certainly need a new approach and more comprehensive human capital development to support further growth in the oil and gas industry,” he added.

The Bruneian| BRUNEI MUARA

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