Upcoming Licensing Rounds, 2008-10
In 2006, Timor-Leste conducted its first licensing round for potential petroleum reserves in the uncontested part of the Timor Sea, awarding contracts to two companies for six area, as shown in the map at right.
A second round will be held in 2009 or 2010 for areas D, F, G, I and J, which did not receive bids in the first round.
The Timor Sea Designated Authority is also planning another licensing round in late 2008.
Below are some media articles about these upcoming licensing rounds, including:
Penn Energy, 28 February 2008
SINGAPORE -- Timor Leste is preparing to offer its deepwater blocks in 2009 and 2010, including acreage in the Timor Trough offshore Australia, Jose Goncalves, acting director for the national directorate of oil and gas, said today at the 13th Asia Upstream 2008 Conference in Singapore.
The next acreage award from zero water level to a depth of 3,300m (10,827 ft), which is in the Timor Trough, will be awarded in 2010, while acreage in 250 m (820 ft) to 1,800 m (5,905 ft) water depth will be awarded in 2009.
Timor Leste has some 50% of its offshore acreage open for bidding, Goncalves said.
In 2006, the directorate signed eight offshore production sharing contracts each with an exploration period of three years plus three years, and then an additional three years, he added. He expects some acreage from these PSCs to be relinquished and offering the next round of concession bidding.
Meanwhile, Timor Leste is also expected to enact a new Optimization Law which will enable the government to set up a national oil company and a new oil and gas authority, Goncalves added.
Upstream May 1, 2009East Timor and Australia are hoping to launch an acreage release for the joint petroleum development area later this year, while East Timor will hold off on an independent round until Eni and Reliance have drilled in 2009, writes Russell Searancke.
The joint petroleum development area spans 35,000 square kilometres and roughly 62% of it is vacant acreage. Water depths are understood to range between 70 metres and 1000 metres.
East Timor sources say that moves are well advanced on the selection of two or possibly three blocks within the area to have them ready for launch later this year. Eni's Kitan oilfield discovery this year has given the joint petroleum development area a much-needed boost and will have caught the eye of the industry.
"We think the joint petroleum development area is attractive and there will be renewed interest as a result of Kitan," says an East Timorese official.
The Joint Commission for the joint petroleum development area, which comprises two representatives of East Timor and Australia, is due to meet in May.
At that meeting, it is hoped firm details on the new acreage will be presented to the commission with an official request to launch the round, say sources. The East Timor commissioners are Francisco Monteiro and Antonio Jose Loyola de Sousa. Their Australian counterparts are John Hartwell and Bob Pegler, according to the Timor Sea Designated Authority, which oversees all petroleum activities in the joint petroleum development area.
The 2006 licensing round was a success, with three out of four blocks awarded and 12 oil companies submitting bids individually or in groups.
The three permits went to operators Petronas Carigali of Malaysia, Australia's Oilex and Channel Islands-based Minza Oil & Gas. Private company called Zetex won the fourth block but declined to sign the production sharing contract.
Under the Timor Sea Treaty between East Timor and Australia, the former gets 90% of petroleum taxation revenues from oil and gas production in the joint petroleum development area.
The joint zone is an economic lifeline for impoverished East Timor, and a reminder of Indonesia's 25-year-long occupation.
Indonesia and Australia established the area in 1989 when the former ruled East Timor.
By the time of Indonesia's violent withdrawal in 1999, production had started at the Elang-Kakatua fields, while the Bayu-Undan field had been found, as had Jahal, Chudditch and the two Sunset fields within the Greater Sunrise complex.
The Timor Sea Treaty replaced the illegal Timor Gap Treaty between Indonesia and Australia, and the joint petroleum development area replaced the former Zone A offshore block.
The joint petroleum development area, like the Timor Sea Treaty, remains a temporary arrangement that will terminate when East Timor and Australia agree on a permanent maritime border.
The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)