Brunei forms Petroleum Authority to regulate oil and gas industry

Brunei Shell Petroleum's Fairley-4 platform. Photo: BSP

The Brunei government has formed a new statutory body called Petroleum Authority to regulate the country’s oil and gas industry.

The Ministry of Energy said in a press statement on April 22 that it would be tasking Petroleum Authority to undertake regulation and monitoring of operations and infrastructure in the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas sector as well as act as the custodian of the country’s petroleum data.

Petroleum Authority will absorb the operational regulatory functions of Petroleum Brunei and part of the operational functions related to the oil and gas sector under the Ministry of Energy.

Petroleum Brunei – a wholly government-owned oil company incorporated in 2002 – will continue to operate as commercial entity but without a conflicting regulatory role.

The establishment of the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam serves as an important milestone in the development of the oil and gas sector of Brunei Darussalam by contributing to a more conducive business environment for the oil and gas sector. The consolidation of operational regulatory functions of all oil and gas sectors in a single entity is intended to streamline operations and provide clarity to businesses and potential investors for growth and diversification of the oil and gas industry. The statutory body will also serve as a technical resource to the Government on petroleum matters.

The body shall act as the Ministry of Energy’s operational arm to coordinate the development of the petroleum sector towards long-term energy security and ensure prudent and sustainable exploitation and development of national oil and gas resources, according to strategic direction set by the Ministry. Among its key roles will also be the monitoring, development and implementation of technical guidelines and standards to enhance value derived from the sector. This supports a more resilient stable oil and gas sector for long-term economic development.

Ministry of Energy’s Press Release on April 22, 2020.

Petroleum Authority was established on December 31, 2019 and is governed by a board of directors chaired by the Minister of Energy with the Deputy Minister of Energy as Deputy Chairman.

Other board members are the Permanent Secretary (Policy and Fiscal) and Permanent Secretary (Investment) from Ministry of Finance and Economy, Permanent Secretary (Infrastructure, Housing and Professional) from the Ministry of Development and the Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Ministry of Energy.

The Permanent Secretary (Energy) will also serve as Interim Managing Director.