Brunei Darussalam


 Growing up, we take many things for granted. For the fortunate majority, there’s food on the table, fresh clothes to put on, toys to play with and friends a phone call away. Growing up, I was ignorant to all that’s happening around me except eat, do my homework and sleep and do everything all over again the next day.

Reading a blog Stone Throw to BLNG by Jewelle, it got me thinking about the environment in which we breath and live and how little we know of the quality of air we breath and the water we drink. I am someone who can be objective when it comes to larger than life matters. I accept that pollution is a necessary evil of a developing nation–a shared responsibility for all concerned.

The BLNG Flares © Jan Shim Photography

This flare while seemingly unobtrusive during the day lights up the BLNG plant and residence in the Lumut suburb. This beacon of light represents the pulse of our economy in the energy sector in the forseeable future and the promise of employment  for our nation’s rising stars.

World Pollution © Jan Shim Photography

On the weekend of July 29th, a slightly overcast but otherwise a sunny morning, I took the kids to the beach near the Billionth Barrel Monument (no pun intended) and captured the puffs of smoke from the BLNG plant approximately thirty minutes away that resembled the World map. It was quite a sight and I’ve kept it ever since for an opportunity. I’ve always been fascinated by interesting cloud formations which helps take away the monotony of my long commutes between work and home. So you can imagine the excitement when I saw the formation that I had at first mistakened as cloud but quickly realised it was from distant chimney.  That opportunity is now and gets named World Pollution for its relevance to this post and photo composition.


  1. Amazing, I like how you put it as ‘world pollution’. =)

    I am quite concern about global warming (am a member of a recycling club in school) but yet I strongly believe that a solution will always come out (such as discovery of new, alternative, clean energy source or ice age). =)

    Just do what we can. =)

    Anyway, you ever watch the documentary “Inconvenient Truth”?


  2. Dear Jan Shim,

    I do believe that Shell and BLNG plays a major factor in preserving and protecting the health of the community and conserving the environment, both on the local and regional front. As far as I could remember, these two are one of the pioneers to establish quite a standard to comply with the local and international environment laws such as being aware of any impact(s) cause by any activity or focusing to reduce any impact(s) by such activity.

    Hey, what do I know…am not with either companies, so do not think I am bias towards these two companies that helped to put our “black gold and gas” to where we are now.


  3. The world we live in is indeed scary. There are much bigger issues happening outside the realm of what is immediately apparent to us but this is not to say we need to get ahead of ourselves and save the world. This isn’t an episode of Heroes but rather a dose of reality “TV”

    @ Jewelle
    You moved here for many reasons that Brunei is today–harmony, security, political stability and good governance. Perhaps, you moved here because of your hubby’s pledge to look after you when you said I DO! 🙂
    @ IngSiang
    While we cannot always save the world by ourselves, we can however do our part no matter how small they may be. Collecticely, we make a difference!

    I have come across the movie An Inconvenient Truth but have not actually watched it. I’m more of an action movie buff and movies with an obvious political agenda aren’t in my radar of weekly picks.

    A quick search on the web, I can see how that’s relevant to your concerns about global warming, something I have mixed feelings about. I do enjoy the critics quote though …

    … Intellectually Exhilarating. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is a necessary film.” A.O. Scott, The New York Times

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his NOT UNDERSTAND IT.” Upton Sinclair

    What changed in the US with Hurricane Katrina was a feeling that we have entered A PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES ….” Al Gore

    @ 48
    I have no doubts our two Energy giants, their overseas HQ, subsidiaries and contractors are environmentally conscious and have a social, legal and moral responsibility to create a safe environment to live in—an unavoidable vicious cycle a modern thriving economy we find ourselves in today. After all, the country depends on corporations with a vision for the future and corporations depend on the collective efforts of healthy individuals to work together in a conducive environment towards a common objective—sustainable growth.

    I am grateful for all that has been provided for me and I do not for one second take things for granted. The purpose of this post is not to incite political discussion on our nation’s bread and butter but merely to illustrate what is already there—pollution. Pollution not as a negative element but as a matter of fact. While I am opinionated, this blog is not a soapbox. We have kopitiams (coffee shops) for that sort of thing. 😉


  4. Hi Jan,
    A late comment,some good news…
    Large scale emission into the atmosphere of co2 is mostly responsible to global warming. One of the solutions proposed and implemented is the Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) process whereby CO2 produced from large point sources such as power or LNG plants is captured and subsequently stored. The technology for capturing of CO2 is already commercially available for large CO2 emitters, such as power plants. Currently in South Australia, there is a proposed pilot scheme to compress and re-inject and store the captured CO2 into the depleting oil/gas reservoirs in the Cooper Basin (10000 ft underground). One additional benefit is that the injected CO2 will re-pressurize the reservoirs and thus enhance further hydrocarbon recovery.


  5. A quick search for CCS and Google returned some very useful articles including one from Wikipedia and the process is also known in more layman term as Carbon Storage.

    Capturing and compressing CO2 requires much energy, significantly raising the running costs of CCS-equipped power plants. In addition there are added investment or capital costs. The process would increase the energy needs of a plant with CCS by about 10-40%. The costs of storage and other system costs are estimated to increase the costs of energy from a power plant with CCS by 30-60%, depending on the specific circumstances

    The first and foremost question on any CEO and shareholders mind is the cost of implementing CCS ranging from environmental considerations such as new hires, HSE, training, legal framework, increased infrastructure costs, etc … a project of this magnitude raises more questions to its viability and consequences. I’m of the opinion that it’s virtually impossible to put a price on matters of health and safety. It costs to care but to disregard costs more.


  6. Hi Jan, at the risk of boring you to death, I’m posting my last comment on this subject. I must agree with you about the huge costs required to implement CCS projects and the difficulties it takes to achieve economic viability.
    Here are some of the necessary commercial drivers for a successful C02 storage project:
    1. The financial enablers are enhanced hydrocarbon recovery (EOR), Carbon (trading) price signal and public and/or private funding
    2. Legislative rights to store CO2
    3. Physical right of way to transport CO2
    4. Joint venture alignment
    5. Customers

    And here are some of the CO2 solutions already carried out by the oil and gas industry…
    1. Weyburn (Canada) 2000
    CO2 transported from gasification facility in US (300 km)

    2. Sleipner (Norwegein North Sea) 1996
    CO2 production stored saline aquifers
    Driven by US$50/Tonne offshore CO2 tax
    Injecting ~1 mtpa (million tonne per year)

    3. In-Salah (Algeria) 2004
    Discretionary commitment not to vent CO2
    Injecting ~1 mtpa

    4. United States Permian Oil (over 30 years)
    Commenced with tax incentives
    Greater than 7 Tcf (trillion cubic feet)



  7. You should watch it, it’s the most interesting ‘presentation’ I had ever watch. =p The movie is actually a ‘presentation’ presented by al-Gore, it’s very interesting, with a lot of sarcastic jokes/commentary. =)

    Yes, so I am doing what I can, =)


  8. Man made Global Warming is a myth. Show me the SUVs on Mars and the other planets that are also experiencing increase in temp. Im not saying that we should not be better stewards of the environment. Now to the photography , once again Jan pushes the boundaries 🙂


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