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Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya graduated with a Bachelor of Geology (BSc) (Hons) from the University of Nottingham in 1987.  He is an oil industry veteran having long stint in the industry spanning across exploration, production, commercial, and management and later worked in the Brunei Government as regulator and policy maker. In the industry he was involved in oil and gas exploration from onshore to the Deep Water of Brunei, Malaysia, Netherlands, Syria, Iraq and Jordan while working for BSP, NAM, Shell Exploration and Production Technology (EPT) and Shell Syria Exploration Ltd.  

In 2009, he became BSP's Exploration Manager. In 2011, he was appointed as the Permanent Secretary (Upstream) in the Energy Department of the Prime Minister's Office. At the same time, he was also assigned as CEO for PetroleumBRUNEI for an interim duration. He was awarded by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, with The Most Blessed Order of Setia Negara Brunei (S.N.B) 3rd Class in July 2012. He returned to BSP in 2013 as Exploration and Commercial Director.  After 28 years of technical and management career, he retired on March 2016. 

On 31 July 2018, he was appointed as Permanent Secretary (Energy). He is married to Hajah Suhartiniwati, blessed with three children and loves exploring the outdoors, hiking in the mountains and travelling.