'Regular customers' allowed to fill up 1,000 litres of fuel into containers against govt regulations
Bandar Seri Begawan - Services under the oil and gas sector came under focus of Brunei Shell Marketing (BSM) yesterday as the Managing Director highlighted several issues that are increasing unnecessary risks for members of the public as well as staff.
Speaking at the BSM Customer Day that was held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, the Managing Director of the joint-venture company between the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Shell Overseas Holding Limited took stock of non-compliance practices by several BSM business partners with particular attention to agendas concerning Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE).
Based on information gathered from visits made to a number of petrol stations and oil delivery sites in industrial locations, it was revealed that "compliance is still unsatisfactory".
In his address, Haji Mohd Sufri Haji Sulaiman stated that a number of locations have been found not adhering to, among others, safety procedures prior to filling gas tanks and the lack of observance to the Discharging Procedure Booklet during the delivery of fuel.
"Good HSSE is Good Business," he stressed and added, "HSSE achievement is compromised even with small incidents that have recently occurred, which could have been avoided", including oil leakages at petrol stations and tankers that were experiencing technical errors stemming from the failure to comply with the standard recommendation for maintenance.
"It is our joint responsibility to ensure that the level of HSSE where we work is satisfactory," he said including the observance of proper waste oil management. "We cannot deny that there are a number of challenges in our efforts to strengthen and develop our businesses. Regardless of the plans that we make, if there is no understanding and compromise, all will be futile."
In spite of these setbacks, however, it was noted that BSM's Goal Zero Days without Loss Time Injury has reached a total of 921 days.
Another worrying trend that was highlighted is the ongoing issue of fuel smuggling and activities linked to it.
Through personal experience, the Managing Director explained that there are those who have failed to observe the country's fuel directive that he described as being "an interesting subject" considering that illegal practices are being conducted "openly".
He said BSM personnel have observed station attendants willingly providing patrons with approximately 1,000 litres of fuel filled into drums and containers whereas regulations issued by the government stipulate the approved amount should not exceed 100 litres and that containers used must be approved by BSM.
"When asked why such activities take place, the attendants say that these individuals are 'our regular customers'," he said and assured that government agencies are taking measures to ensure that this "regrettable" practice does not carry negative undertones.
Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office announced the use of IT in deterring smuggling activities and BSM is working with government agencies in the implementation of "more sophisticated" CCTVs at petrol stations and border control posts expected to be fully enforced by October.
Another initiative currently taking shape is the tackling of issues related to the volume of oil delivered to petrol stations with the installation of Auto Underground Tank Gauging (ATG) currently in its third and fourth phases and will come into effect next year. It will allow for a more effective form of monitoring from the BSM control centre in Muara in relation to oil stock control and priority distribution.
The e-banking system project that was announced last year, meanwhile, is expected to be in operation towards the end of October or early November that will provide customers a much better opportunity to communicate with BSM.
With the increasing demand for oil that has seen an increase of approximately five per cent on a yearly average due to the increase of cars on Brunei's roads and the country's rapid development, the Managing Director said that BSM has decided to renew lorry tanker contracts that are expected to see an increase of Rigid Tankers to be utilised when the need to venture into difficult terrain arises and that a total of 26 new tankers - up from 22- are expected to hit the roads with the hope to "improve performance and delivery that are more efficient and safe".
On localising the oil and gas sector, meanwhile, the Managing Director said that data collected as of June 2012 has highlighted that the goal of employing locals is yet to be achieved with contractors such as those dealing with tankers, projects maintenance and so on still in need of increase by two per cent to 55 per cent before the year ends; that another nine per cent is still needed to reach the 80 per cent mark for local employees at petrol stations and; another five per cent to meet the 44 per cent goal for LPG distributors.
Yesterday's event, which also incorporated Hari Raya celebrations, saw the attendance of over 450 BSM business partners and customers who participated in focus group activities concentrating on LPG, Commercial and Petrol Stations as a means to assess BSM's performance directly from their stakeholders and subsequently improve upon BSM services to be more in line with the country's 10th National Development Plan towards the realisation of Vision 2035 with assistance from the participants.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin