Decommissioning and restoration activities of oil and gas assets play an important role in shaping the nation’s future. 

Not only as a means to reverse the impact of environmental degradation from offshore and onshore activities but also as a possible contributor to the economy as D&R activities have the potential to become a thriving industry in the sultanate’s energy sector. 

Image courtesy of MYCE

The intricacies of this topic were explored during Decommissioning and Restoration Forum that was held earlier this week at the International Convention Centre in Berakas which was organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam. 

The forum brought together industry players from the oil and gas sector to share technical knowledge on decommissioning and restoration activities, with a number of speakers highlighting the business creation and spin-off opportunities that D&R activities can generate. 

Image courtesy of MYCE

“D&R activities have long been associated with sophisticated technologies involving the removal of ageing oil and gas facilities that have reached the end of their technical and economic life,” the ministry said in a statement. 

“With more than 200 offshore structures, over 1,000 wells and 1,500 km length of pipelines together with onshore facilities to be decommissioned in the next 20 to 30 years, D&R activities have the potential to become a thriving industry in Brunei Darussalam’s energy sector,” the statement added. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

One of the speakers, Brunei Shell Petroleum’s D&R Programme Delivery Manager Hj Idris Hj Mohd Jaafar explained that a lot of planning and strategy has to go towards D&R planning. 

“We want to make sure that the legacy that we are leaving would be sufficient for the future generation. The priority for D&R is safety and that means we have to perform them in a safe manner, honouring all the regulations and taking into consideration the environmental impact that it will have in implementing this,” he said. 

He added that more work should be done in terms of researching the potential areas that D&R can be taken to, highlighting how certain facilities have the potential to be rejuvenated as renewable energy transition hubs. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

Hj Idris also highlighted the potential of converting wells on depleted oil and gas fields for carbon capture and storage (CCS) purposes, as carbon capture sequestration technology has been recognised globally as a successful approach taken to mitigate the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. 

In keeping up with the momentum of the theme “Energy Transition: Towards a Sustainable Future”, D&R activities hold a strong commitment in reversing the impact of degradation as a result of offshore and onshore activities through the re-introduction of a natural ecosystem. 

This was further strengthened by the National Exploration & Production Guideline for Decommissioning and Restoration of Upstream Industry which was introduced in 2017 by the Ministry of Energy. 

Image courtesy of MYCE

The guidelines stressed a coherent approach for all operators in managing their late-life onshore and offshore operation subsequently to carry out D&R activities in a timely and responsible manner while observing all relevant legislation in force. 

The Minister of Energy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mat Suny Hj Md Hussein said during the opening of the Energy Theme Week that the ministry along with the Petroleum Authority will issue D&R guidelines for the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in the near future. 

“We are committed to working together with the industry in this journey. I also hope that in the near future, D&R will create the much-needed economic activities, if not industry, to further spur job creation in Brunei towards achieving our Wawasan 2035,” said the minister. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

Present as the Guests of Honour to officiate the D&R Forum were the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong, and the Minister of Energy, YB Dato Dr Hj Mat Suny.

The Energy Theme Week is part of the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2021 (Brunei MYCE 2021) which is an initiative of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) to grow the meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MYCE) market, aimed at promoting knowledge sharing and increasing business activities in various sectors.

Image courtesy of MYCE

This article was first published on 3 July 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 148

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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