By Liza Mohd
Over 1,000 Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) employees gathered in anticipation for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's arrival yesterday morning for a working visit to the head office in Panaga Seria and Champion 7 oil platform to mark the oil and gas company's 80th anniversary celebration.
The celebration yesterday signified the 80 years of successful establishment of BSP, which contributes to 90 per cent of the nation's oil and gas revenues and also accounts for over half of the country's GDP and 90 per cent of export earnings.
His Majesty's arrival at the vicinity of the head office was greeted with full enthusiasm by BSP staff, comprising some expatriates who faithfully waited for a glimpse and handshake opportunity with the monarch.
Present to welcome His Majesty at the head office were Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Hj Mohammad bin Hj Daud, Minister of Energy; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II and Chairman of BSP/BLNG/BST/BSM: Mr Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell; and Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Managing Director of BSP.
Also present were Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Communications; BSP members of board and senior officers from the government sector and BSP, BLNG, BST and BSM.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was ushered to the Atrium hall where the event took place.
It began with the recital of al-fatihah and doa Selamat and continued with opening remarks by Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, followed by a speech from Mr Voser and Dr Henderson.
Later, the ruler officiated the 80th anniversary by cutting a cake and signing a plaque. The Sultan consented to receive a 'pesambah'.
At the ceremony, His Majesty launched the Brunei "Tell-A-Friend" road safety campaign by unveiling a backdrop of the campaign's message, which emphasises on five principles of driving safely, namely wearing seat belts, observing speed limits, not using mobile phones while driving, using safety helmets while cycling and using pedestrian crossings.
Later, His Majesty was brought to tour exhibits at the hall on BSP's significant milestones in the last 80 years since the company's humble beginnings in 1929 and proceeded to have in audience Minister of Energy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell and Managing Director of BSP.
His Majesty then walked along the Technology corridor to mingle with BSP staff, who took the opportunity take photographs with their beloved monarch and bid festive greetings.
His Majesty was then led to walk through the BSP 'time tunnel' displaying classic and past photographs of BSP's oil and gas developments and breakthroughs before leaving on a helicopter for a brief visit to the Champion 7 offshore platform, located about 70 kilometres northeast of Seria.
In 2004, the ruler had officiated BSP's 75th anniversary celebration and commemorated the one-billionth production of crude oil from the prolific Seria field 1 well. And in 2002, the monarch had officially opened the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre in Seria run by BSP, which is a popular attraction for residents in Brunei and tourists alike.
- Borneo Bulletin
(1st October 2009)