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Brunei – Oil & Gas

Brunei’s economy has been dominated by the oil and gas upstream and downstream industries for the past 80 years. These industries will continue to provide important commercial opportunities. Brunei’s oil and gas fields produce approximately 127,000 barrels of oil per day (bbl/day) and 243,000 barrels of oil equivalent of natural gas per day. Brunei hopes to increase production in coming years. New oil extraction technology and the current market price of oil have made extracting oil from mature fields economically viable. As a result, companies with experience in extracting oil from mature fields may find new opportunities in Brunei. Other discoveries in the region have generated optimism that there may be additional on-shore and off-shore reserves which may assist Brunei’s interest in increasing production.
Brunei has set out a long-term vision for the country and the energy sector. With ongoing exploration projects both onshore and offshore, the planned target is to grow production from 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) in 2010 to about 430,000 BOEPD by 2017. Under the Brunei Vision (Wawasan) 2035, the industry is set to increase to US $36.1 billion per year and aims to increase production to 800,000 bbl. /day and to more than 650,000 BOEPD by 2035.
The Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office published an Energy White Paper (2013) that established a framework for action to help realize the National Vision. The White Paper presented three strategic goals to drive the growth in the energy sector:

Strengthen and Grow Oil and Gas Upstream and Downstream Activities

Ensure Safe, Secure, Reliable and Efficient Supply and Use of Energy

 Maximize Economic Spin-off from Energy Industry - Boost Local Content and Secure High Participation of Local Workforce.

Brunei Oil Production and Trade





2017 (Estimated)

Total Local Production(volume)
Oil: Average Oil production (Thousand Barrels / Day)
 Gas: Average Natural Gas Production (1000 Barrels of Oil Equivalent/ Day)





Total Exports



633.30 (M BND)

579.10 (M BND)

Total Imports





Exchange Rates





Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), a joint venture owned in equal shares by the Brunei Government and the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies, is the chief oil and gas production company in Brunei. It also operates the country's only refinery. BSP and four sister companies constitute the largest employer in Brunei after the government. BSP's small refinery has a distillation capacity of 10,000 barrels per day (1,600 m3/d). This satisfies domestic demand for most petroleum products.

The French oil company Elf Aquitaine became active in petroleum exploration in Brunei in the 1980s. Its affiliate Elf Petroleum Asia BV has discovered commercially exploitable quantities of oil and gas in three of the four wells drilled since 1987, including a particularly promising discovery announced in early 1990. Recently, UNOCAL, partnered with New Zealand's Fletcher Challenge has been granted concessions for oil exploration. Brunei is preparing to tender concessions for deep water oil and gas exploration.

Brunei's oil production peaked in 1979 at over 240,000 barrels per day (38,000 m3/d). Since then it has been deliberately cut back to extend the life of oil reserves and improve recovery rates. Petroleum production is currently averaging some 200,000 barrels per day (32,000 m3/d). Japan has traditionally been the main customer for Brunei's oil exports, but its share dropped from 45% of the total in 1982 to 19% in 1998. In contrast, oil exports to South Korea increased from only 8% of the total in 1982 to 29% in 1998. Other major customers include Taiwan (6%), and the countries of ASEAN (27%). Brunei's oil exports to the United States accounted for 17% of the total exported.

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