I turned the valve!
When we got the signal that everything was ready, we opened the valve. The gas flowed and we started production! It was the 19th of February 1999 and this remains a great highlight of my career! Reminiscing about this time, we were faced with the great challenge of building in less than two years two offshore platforms, an 85km subsea pipeline and an Onshore Processing Plant.
When we presented our project plan to various entities, literally everyone thought our plan was unrealistic and that it would be impossible to complete a green field project in such a short time. We were determined and succeeded in achieving first production two weeks in advance of our deadline! To add to the challenge, we had found a shipwreck during our seabed survey and the Brunei government had requested Total to take charge of the shipwreck recovery.
Needless to say, it was a high security project and I was lucky to be one of the very few who was given a special pass to access the museum site where archaeologists were studying the antique pieces recovered from the shipwreck. This unexpected and interesting project was run in parallel with our development project. I was so fortunate to be a part of such a historical event at this affiliate. To have seen everything on paper turned into reality, from engineering to installation and commissioning of facilities that still exist today; plus the recovery of a shipwreck which would be recorded in the history of Brunei, all of these are indeed something you do not get to experience every day.