Timor Sea Oil History 1971-2003
For a more detailed history from 1893 to the present, see the Chronology of Timor Sea Developments.
1995 East Timor Documents Volume 38 including the decision of the International Court of Justice on the Timor Gap Case, and various relevant commentaries and reports.
1997 Treaty between Australia and Indonesia establishing an exclusive economic zone boundary and certain seabed boundaries, establishing Australian acceptance of the median line principle. PDF National Impact Analysis
Legal and Historical Analyses
Aid, Trade and Oil: Australia's Second Betrayal of East Timor. By Tim Anderson, Journal of Australian Political Economy, December 2003 (PDF)
March 2002: Australia withdraws from judicial processes for setting boundaries
The Timor Sea Treaty and a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and East Timor concerning an International Unitisation Agreement for Greater Sunrise were signed in Dili by Australia and East Timor on 20 May 2002, together with an exchange of Notes (From East Timor to Australia, From Australia to East Timor) constituting an agreement governing the exploration and exploitation of petroleum in the area.
August 2002: East Timor enacts boundary legislation
The Maritime Boundary law (Law no. 7/2002) was passed by East Timor's Parliament on 23 July 2002 and signed into law by President Xanana Gusmão on 24 August. The official text is in Portuguese. It claims 200 nautical miles from East Timor's shoreline, as shown in green on the map below and explained on this government fact sheet.
3 October 2002: East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri writes Australian PM John Howard to propose initial discussions on boundaries. Nearly a year of frustrated correspondence follows. See Oilweb Boundary index page for details on the continuing negotiations.
27 November 2002: Australian Foreign Minister lectures East Timor's Prime Minister in Dili, promising to establish a boundary resolution process soon after the New Year.
17 December 2002: East Timor's Parliament Ratifies Timor Sea Treaty
January 2003: Once again, East Timor asks Australia to begin discussions about a permanent maritime boundary. Once again, Australia fails to respond.
6 March 2003: Australian Parliament ratifies Timor Sea Treaty. The ratification was cheered by the oil companies involved, including Santos (PDF) and Woodside, although some considered that Australia had blackmailed East Timor by holding up ratification.
June-July 2003: Australian Parliament collects submissions, holds hearings, and issues a report on the Sunrise Unitization Agreement.
12 November 2003: Negotiators from East Timor and Australia meet in Darwin for the first "scoping session" of maritime boundary negotiations.
For more recent and comprehensive information see this chronology elsewhere on OilWeb.
The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)