Brunei expects $20 billion investment in oil & gas industry, 15,000 new workers needed

Brunei Expects $20 Billion Investment In Oil And Gas Industry, 15,000 New Workers Needed

Brunei’s oil and gas industry is expecting investments of about $20 billion in the coming years and the need for some 15,000 new workers in the sector, deputy minister of energy, manpower and industry, Matsatejo Sokiaw, said on July 23.

The news came as Brunei is trying to steer its economy away from the oil and gas sector towards a broader diversification.

“Despite the fact that the oil and gas industry in Brunei Darussalam is already 90 years old, I still believe this industry will remain strong and relevant for a foreseeable future and continue to grow,” he said at a speech during the opening of a workshop organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The industry already employs 20,000 people, and accounts for 97 per cent of Brunei’s exports and 57 percent of GDP. However, oil production has steadily dropped from a high of 219,258 barrels per day in 2006 to around 100,000 bpd in the past two years.

Sokiaw said the $15 billion Hengyi refinery and petrochemical plant — the largest project in the sultanate as per the value of its foreign direct investment — is currently in its trial phase and is expected to begin operations early next year.

The Brunei-China joint venture will have the capacity to refine 175,000 barrels of crude oil per day for export to China and other regional markets, eventually increasing to 500,000 barrels per day when construction of phase two is complete in 2022.

The second phase will focus on manufacturing more downstream products such as aromatics and industrial chemicals that are used to make clothing and plastics — and could generate revenue of about $10 billion per annum, according to Hengyi.

Another significant downstream project is the $1.8 billion ammonia and urea plant producing industrial fertilizer in Sungai Liang which is slated to be completed in 2021. At full scale, both refinery and fertiliser plants are expected to be amongst the biggest of their kind in Southeast Asia.

“With such huge investment in the upstream and downstream, there are ample opportunities for our local companies to develop their capabilities not only to service the industry in Brunei Darussalam but also the region,” Sokiaw added.

The deputy minister said the expansion of the energy industry in Brunei would spur the creation of 45,000 new jobs by 2024, potentially bringing down Brunei’s unemployment rate from 9.3 per cent to three per cent.

He urged companies to give the “highest priority” to the development of skilled staff in the industry, while encouraging local youth to leverage digital technology and innovation to be competitive, adding that local and international training organisations were encouraged to set up in Brunei to train the industry’s expanding workforce.

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Brunei’s oil and gas industry is expecting investments of about $20 billion in the coming years and the need for some 15,000 new workers in the sector, deputy minister of energy, manpower and industry, Matsatejo Sokiaw, said on July 23. The news came as Brunei is trying to steer its economy away from the oil and gas sector towards a broader diversification. “Despite the fact that the oil and gas industry in Brunei Darussalam is already 90 years old, I still believe this industry will remain strong and relevant for a foreseeable future and continue to grow,” he said at...

Brunei Expects $20 Billion Investment In Oil And Gas Industry, 15,000 New Workers Needed

Brunei’s oil and gas industry is expecting investments of about $20 billion in the coming years and the need for some 15,000 new workers in the sector, deputy minister of energy, manpower and industry, Matsatejo Sokiaw, said on July 23.

The news came as Brunei is trying to steer its economy away from the oil and gas sector towards a broader diversification.

“Despite the fact that the oil and gas industry in Brunei Darussalam is already 90 years old, I still believe this industry will remain strong and relevant for a foreseeable future and continue to grow,” he said at a speech during the opening of a workshop organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The industry already employs 20,000 people, and accounts for 97 per cent of Brunei’s exports and 57 percent of GDP. However, oil production has steadily dropped from a high of 219,258 barrels per day in 2006 to around 100,000 bpd in the past two years.

Sokiaw said the $15 billion Hengyi refinery and petrochemical plant — the largest project in the sultanate as per the value of its foreign direct investment — is currently in its trial phase and is expected to begin operations early next year.

The Brunei-China joint venture will have the capacity to refine 175,000 barrels of crude oil per day for export to China and other regional markets, eventually increasing to 500,000 barrels per day when construction of phase two is complete in 2022.

The second phase will focus on manufacturing more downstream products such as aromatics and industrial chemicals that are used to make clothing and plastics — and could generate revenue of about $10 billion per annum, according to Hengyi.

Another significant downstream project is the $1.8 billion ammonia and urea plant producing industrial fertilizer in Sungai Liang which is slated to be completed in 2021. At full scale, both refinery and fertiliser plants are expected to be amongst the biggest of their kind in Southeast Asia.

“With such huge investment in the upstream and downstream, there are ample opportunities for our local companies to develop their capabilities not only to service the industry in Brunei Darussalam but also the region,” Sokiaw added.

The deputy minister said the expansion of the energy industry in Brunei would spur the creation of 45,000 new jobs by 2024, potentially bringing down Brunei’s unemployment rate from 9.3 per cent to three per cent.

He urged companies to give the “highest priority” to the development of skilled staff in the industry, while encouraging local youth to leverage digital technology and innovation to be competitive, adding that local and international training organisations were encouraged to set up in Brunei to train the industry’s expanding workforce.

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