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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Brunei History of Oil & Gas

History of Oil & Gas

Brunei Darussalam has been known for its vast reserves of petroleum and gas, which has fuelled the nation’s economy for the past 75 years and more.

1899--Exploration started i with the first recorded well drilled close to Brunei town, now known as Bandar Seri Begawan. Enthusiasm was high and six companies were involved in the oil search including Royal Dutch Shell, which started operations in 1913 after discovering the Miri field in Sarawak, Malaysia.

1918-- all other companies had pulled out except Royal Ducth Shell, which continued to search and found some accumulation of oil and gas in Labi, Belait in 1924. The find was too small to be commercialised. 

1925--, the search shifted to the Seria, Belait coastal strip in the west of the state and it was in 1929 when first commercial find was made at Seria, Belait in1929 by the British Malayan Petroleum Company, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, which was the forerunner to the present Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP).

For a long time, this onshore Seria oil field was Brunei Darussalam’s only producing field despite some 48 exploration wells being drilled between 1914 and 1960. It was developed further in 1940 and production had risen to 17,000 barrels per day. Despite extensive damage to the field caused in World War II, post war production peaked to 15,000 barrels per day.

 1960--The breakthrough came in the 1960’s when technological advances made offshore exploration feasible and the South West Ampa field was discovered in 1963, thirteen kilometres off Kuala Belait.

1972--It was the discovery of the South West Ampa gas field, which sparked plans for the Brunei LNG plant project. The Brunei LNG plant began its operation in 1972 as one of the world’s first large scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the coast of Brunei Darussalam.

Setting new standards in engineering technology, Brunei LNG proved that large quantities of gas could be liquefied safely and shipped over long distances becoming a model for similar ventures throughout the world.

1969--, a major discovery was found in the Fairley field which is close to Ampa and in 1970, Champion was discovered about 70 kilometres north-east of Seria. Two more oilfields were discovered namely the Magpie which was found in 1975 and Rasau in 1979. These new oilfields increased the production to 250,000 barrels per day at that time.

1991--A milestone was achieved in 1991 when the Seria field produced its billionth barrel and a monument was built near the original site of Well No. 1 to mark the achievement. The Billionth Barrel Monument was officially opened by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam on 18 July 1991.


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