Brunei is a land where fairy tales come true. There are palaces of gold and the city streets are marked with sparkling fountains and beautiful gardens. Children go to the best schools for free, the sick go to hospitals for free, people don’t pay taxes, and employees stop working at age 50 and then get a handsome pension.
No other country does these things. Families also get car and house subsidy, and all these are possible thanks to the abundant supply of natural gas and petroleum oil. These resources play an extremely important role in the lives of the Bruneians, and this is why the government decided to establish the Oil & Gas Discovery Centre.
Inaugurated on September 14, 2002, the Oil & Gas Discovery Centre aims to educate people about the oil and gas industry, and therefore, better appreciate these precious resources. The Centre serves as an education center for children and adults on science, technology, engineering, and modern technological innovations. It conducts hands-on science workshops for children, robotic workshops for older children, science explorations for children aged 5-12, motivational workshops for teenagers, and a series of field trips, camps and science-related programs for the Young Scientists.
Such activities and workshops train participants in actual applications of technology. For instance, in the robotics workshops, students are taught to build their own robots and challenged to make use of their electronic and engineering skills. Several scientifically inclined students have benefitted from such programs, including the Centre’s monthly outreach program called “Meneroka Dunia Sains” or “Exploring Science World” that is offered to a number of kids who cannot physically visit the Centre. The Centre’s programs may be booked and applied in any school around the country.
One of the primary goals is to generate interest in the oil and gas industry. The Bruneian government wants each and every citizen to be thankful for the oil and gas that they have in abundance. Oil wells were discovered in the 1920s and until today it is keeping this tiny Muslim sultanate afloat economically, unaffected in anyway by the on-going global economic crisis. The Centre also hopes to promote sustainable development and the country’s tourism. It is for this reason that facilities of the Centre are not only used for educational purposes but also for tourism. It is equipped with attractive facilities such as the KidsZone, theater, cafeteria, playground, souvenir shop and the interactive exhibition areas. The main attraction is the modern gallery building, which is elegantly installed with double-glazed glass panels. From a distance, it looks like a modern and high-tech gas tank.
To further attract children and adults, the Centre has conducted several interest activities such as art exhibitions, a cartooning workshop, road-safety campaigns, health programs, car displays, and so on. It allows different organizations to display their products or services and conduct fairs using Centre faculties.
The Oil & Gas Discovery Centre is located in oil town Seria. The facilities stand on an open-field to further invite visitors to come. The Centre is also a symbol of Brunei Shell Petroleum’s commitment to continuously develop and build the country, its economy and the people, so that more dreams, wishes and Fairy Tales can come true.