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Regulating Onshore Petroleum Operations
Regula Operasaun Petrolíferu iha Rai Maran

23 January 2018.  Updated 14 September 2021


Iha kraik

History and background

Oil and gas have been sought and harvested on Timor-Leste's land for more than a hundred years, but most projects have been small and all were for local use. Everything stopped when Indonesia invaded in 1975, and, enabled by the illegal 1989 Timor Gap Treaty, attention shifted to offshore fields under the Timor Sea. After Timor-Leste restored its independence in 2002, the new nation began to establish the legal regime for oil and gas exploration in both its maritime and land territory.

Before Timor-Leste enacted its Petroleum Activities Law 13/2005, La'o Hamutuk suggested that the law should only cover activities at sea (offshore): "Because the potential consequences of poorly managed onshore projects are so serious and long lasting, we recommend that Timor-Leste not commit to any onshore projects until all legislation is in place, the necessary experience has been gained, and the review and revisions have been completed. ... We urge that there be wide, informed consultation with the entire society before this second decision is taken, including socialization of the consequences of petroleum exploitation in other countries similar to Timor-Leste."

Although our suggestion wasn't implemented in the law, no onshore oil operations were conducted in Timor-Leste for the next 12 years, which allowed the Government and others to learn lessons from offshore activities. During this time, the nation enacted laws on land rights, expropriation, resource revenue management, environmental protection and licensing, as well as labor, civil and criminal codes. Many of these existing laws were developed after extensive thought, analysis and consultation. La'o Hamutuk hopes that the regulations for onshore petroleum operations will be similar well-considered, which will make onshore petroleum operations safer and more beneficial than they would have been in 2005.

In 2014, the National Petroleum Authority held a public consultation on a draft onshore Production-Sharing Contract and other technical regulations, and La'o Hamutuk made a submission. However, these documents were never finalized and have not been adopted. Nevertheless, Timor-Leste signed its first two onshore Production-Sharing contracts in April 2017 (see below), and began finalizing regulations to govern their activities.


Ema buka mina no gas iha rai Timor-Leste kuaze liu tinan atus ida liu ba, maibé maior parte husi projetu ki’ik hirak ne’e utiliza iha lokál. Projetu hirak ne’e hapara ona bainhira Indonézia invade iha 1975, no iha posibilidade ba akordu ilegál iha Tratadu Timor Gap tinan 1989, atensaun ba buka mina no gas hirak ne’e muda ba tasi klaran iha tasi okos Timor ninian. Hafoin restorasaun independénsia Timor-Leste iha 2002, nasaun foun ida ne’e hahú estabelese regime legál ba esplorasaun mina no gas iha area marítima no rai iha territóriu tomak.

Antes Timor-Leste aprova Lei nu. 13/2005 kona-ba Atividade Petrolíferu, La'o Hamutuk sujere ona katak lei ida ne’e tenke inkorpora de’it atividade sira iha tasi (offshore): “Tanba konsekuénsia potensiál husi projetu sira iha rai maran ne’ebé laiha jestaun di’ak sai grave liu no sei ho durasaun naruk, ami rekomenda katak Timor-Leste la halo kometimentu ba projetu ida iha rai maran too bainhira lejizlasaun hirak ne’e tama iha vigor, esperiénsia nesesáriu sira ita hetan ona no hatene ona no revizaun sira kompleta ona. ... Ami husu katak ida ne’e presiza iha konsultasaun boot no informadu duni ho sosiedade hotu antes desizaun daruak foti, inklui sosializasaun kona ba konsekuénsia sira husi esplorasaun mina iha nasaun seluk ne’ebé kuaze hanesan ho Timor-Leste."

Maske ami nia sujestaun hirak ne’e la inkorpora iha lei, operasaun mina iha rai maran seidauk realiza ba tinan 12 tuir mai, ne’ebé fó tempu ba Governu no parte seluk atu aprende husi atividade sira iha tasi okos. Durante tempu hirak ne’e, nasaun ida ne’e mós aprova ona lei direitu ba rai, lei espropriasaun, lei jestaun ba reseita husi rekursu, lei protesaun no lisensiamentu ambientál no kodigu laboral, kódigu sivil no kódigu penál. Lei hirak ne’ebé iha antes ona dezenvolve husi hanoin, analiza no konsultasaun. La’o Hamutuk hein katak regulamentu ba iha operasaun mina iha rai maran sei iha konsiderasaun di’ak no kle’an ne’ebé hanesan, ida ne’ebé bele halo operasaun mina iha rai maran ho seguru liu no hetan benefísiu boot liu ho ida ne’ebé iha ona 2005.

Iha 2014, Autoridade Nasionál Petróleu hala’o konsultasaun públiku ba ezbosu Kontratu Fahe Produsaun (Production-Sharing Contract) no regulamentu tékniku sira seluk, no La’o Hamutuk halo submisaun ida. Maibé, dokumentu hirak ne’e nunka iha final no seidauk adopta too ohin loron. Mezmu nune’e, Timor-Leste asina ona kontratu rua primeiru kona ba Kontratu Fahe Produsaun iha Abril 2017 (hare iha kraik) no hahú atu finaliza regulamentu sira hodi bele jere sira nia atividade.

2017 Legislation

In May 2017, the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM) announced and invited public input on a draft Decree-Law for Onshore Petroleum Operations in Timor-Leste. They held public consultations in Gleno, Maubisse, Suai, Maliana, Baucau, Oecusse and Dili, and have published a summary of the questions and comments raised.

La'o Hamutuk was the only civil society group present at the Dili consultation on 16 June, although a few dozen oil company representatives and government officials attended. The session was opened by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Alfredo Pires and ANPM President Gualdino da Silva, but they did not stay for the discussion. A lot of time was used to present the structure of the law (most attendees had not read it), and there was little chance for in-depth discussion. A few films were shown, including one which depicted silent onshore seismic exploration with a soothing classical music sound track.

For the most part, presenters and panelists felt that they had to defend the provisions of the draft, rather than finding ways to incorporate people's concerns. However, ANPM invited anyone with additional suggestions to have a private meeting with them, and La'o Hamutuk and ANPM staffers discussed the draft law for nearly three hours on 6 July. They asked us to write down our input and, considering the imminent election, agreed to extend the consultation period by a month, until 15 August.

A few weeks later, La'o Hamutuk gave ANPM an 18-page submission. Our introduction pointed out: "Across the world, onshore petroleum operations have occasionally brought significant wealth to national treasuries, but they have also often brought great sorrow to citizens who live near them, as well as damaging the local and global environment and making other economic activities less productive. Onshore petroleum activities should be undertaken and regulated in the best interests of the citizens of Timor-Leste. We encourage you to approach this difficult, complex and challenging task conscientiously and thoroughly, taking the necessary time and mobilizing expertise from various perspectives to ensure that Timor-Leste does not repeat the disasters of Nigeria, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea and many other countries. We encourage you to seek advice from people with a wider view than merely promoting the petroleum industry, and who can better understand the specific legal, social and environmental situation is this new, small, oil-dependent nation."

Lejislasaun iha 2017

Iha Maiu 2017, Autoridade Nasional Petróleu no Minerais (ANPM) anunsia no konvida opiniaun públiku iha ezbosu dekretu-lei kona ba Operasaun Petrolifeiru iha Rai Maran Timor-Leste ninian. Sira organiza konsultasaun públiku iha Gleno, Maubisse, Suai, Maliana, Baucau, Oecusse no Dili, no publika ona sumáriu kona ba pergunta no komentáriu hirak hato’o ona husi públiku.

La'o Hamutuk nudár úniku sosiedade sivíl ne’ebé partisipa iha konsultasaun Dili iha 16 Juńu, maski kuaze liu ema na’in ruanulu kompańia mina no governu. Sesaun ida ne’e ofisiálmente loke husi Ministru Petróleu no Rekursu Minerais Alfredo Pires no Prezidente ANPM Gualdino da Silva, maibé sira husik hela fatin molok tempu diskusaun. Tempu barak mak uza ba aprezenta kona ba estrutura husi lei (tanba maioria partisipante sira seiduak lee), no tempu ba diskusaun kle'an limitadu tebes. Sira mós hatudu filme balu, inklui fó sai mós kona ba esplorasaun sízmiku iha rai maran laho lian, filme ida ne’e akompańa ho múzika klasiku ne’ebé hakmatek tebes.

Maior parte husi panelista no aprezentadór sira sente katak sira tenke defende ezbosu ida ne’e, duke buka dalan atu oinsá inkorpora hanoin no ema nia preokupasaun. Entretantu, ANPM mós konvida ema hirak ne’e karik iha sujestaun adisionál hodi iha diskusaun privada ho sira, no diskusaun entre staff La’o Hamutuk no ANPM dura besik oras tolu iha 6 Jullu. Sira husu atu ami hakerek ami nia hanoin sira, tanba sei iha eleisaun iha tempu badak, konkorda atu prolonga tempu ba konsultasaun too iha 15 Agostu.

Semana hirak tuir mai, La’o Hamutuk fó submisaun ho pájina 18 ba ANPM. Iha introdusaun, ami hakerek: "Iha mundu tomak, operasaun mina iha rai maran dala ruma bele rezulta riku soin ida ne’ebé signifikante ba finansiamentu nasional, maibé dala ruma mós operasaun hirak ne’e lori obstákulu no tristeza boot ba populasaun hirak ne’ebé hela iha area besik fatin sira ne’e, inklui estraga ambiente lokál no global no afeta ba ekonomia seluk sai ladún produtivu. Atividade mina iha rai maran hala’o no realiza hodi hatán ba nesesidade di’ak liu ba povu Timor-Leste. Ami enkoraja ita-boot sira atu uza aproximasaun bazeia ba difikuldade hirak ne’e, kompleksu tebes no dezafia tebes ho maneira konsiente no kompletu, aproveita ho tempu importante ida ne’e no mobiliza peritu sira husi perspetiva oi-oin atu garante katak Timor-Leste la repete dezastre sira ne’ebé hanesan ho nasaun Nigeria, Ekuadór, Guinee Ekuatoriŕl no nasaun sira seluk. Ami enkoraja ita-boot sira atu buka konsellu husi ema hirak ne’ebé ho vizaun luan duke ida ne’ebé promove de’it indústria mina, no ida ne’ebé bele komprende kle’an no espesífiku iha parte legalidade ninian, sosiál no ambiente iha nasaun foun, ki’ik no nasaun dependénsia ba mina."

The following is an abridged version of the main points we discussed:

  • Public consultation on this law is essential, but must be heard and extended.
    The new Government will not be able to deal with this law for many months. We encourage you to get diverse advice from experts knowledgeable about land rights, public consultation, environmental protection, emergency response, transparency and other areas.
       Consultation is different than socialization. In addition to telling people what this draft law intends to do, you should take their concerns on board and to modify the law to reflect them. ANPM justified some aspects of the law to La'o Hamutuk as “political decisions,” which technical staff cannot explain or change. Civil society groups are not technical experts, but we do provide political input based on people’s rights, needs, perspectives and experience. In a democratic state, public consultation is inherently a political process, and political leaders should listen to the public who put them into office.

Project public consultations should implement Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
All people potentially affected by a project have rights to information and consultation, including those who live or work nearby or downstream, live as isolated individuals or families, or have livelihoods which depend on air, land, watersheds or water which could be affected by the project. Public consultations should be mandatory, and local communities who could be affected have the right to withhold their consent. They should be informed in advance not only about the "type, duration and potential property damage" of Petroleum Operations, but also about impacts to health, agriculture, water supplies, fisheries, freedom of movement, air pollution, accident risks and other potential effects on their lives.
   If explosions or seismic booms are to be used, any people living or working nearby should be considered “particularly vulnerable,” as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is widespread in Timor-Leste, and therefore effective public notice is essential.

  • A Law has more power than a Decree-Law, and should be respected or revised.
    This Decree-Law cannot alter Parliamentary Laws or take on powers exclusively assigned to Parliament by Article 95 of the RDTL Constitution (CRDTL). It cannot legislate on matters enumerated in CRDTL Article 96, including definitions of new crimes, without an explicit Parliamentary authorization. Many sections of this law expand or alter Petroleum Activities Law 13/2005, and Parliament should  therefore review and revise that Law before this Onshore Decree-Law is considered. After that, a simpler version of this Decree-Law, together with a model Production-Sharing Contract, can establish specific regulations for onshore petroleum activities.

  • The Law should maximize public benefits while safeguarding public rights.
    Regulatory bodies are responsible protect the public interest, not to give away Timor-Leste’s wealth to private companies. If a company doesn’t want to come here because our rules are too strict and/or force them to share too many of their profits with our people, that’s their problem, not ours. Timor-Leste's regulations should be designed to attract only companies which appreciate that they should contribute to the well-being of our people in return for profiting from our natural resources, rather than bring in all sorts of ''investors" who wish to exploit our resources, people and loopholes.

    Prioritize public interests, not resource extraction.
    The goal of this law should be to maximize the benefits to the public, in terms of taxes and jobs, while minimizing the risks. If a petroleum reserve is not commercially viable, or if the economic, environmental and social costs are greater than the public benefits, it should be left in the ground. There is no reason to subsidize petroleum projects at public expense.

    “Good Oil Field Practice” is not good enough; the law must be clear.
    “Good Oil Field Practice” is cited 71 times, but is not defined clearly and is therefore unenforceable. Such vague wording is often used internationally, but Timor-Leste should learn from the widespread resource-driven devastation and conflict in the 20th century to develop a 21st-century standard.
       The draft refers to “Applicable law” 105 times, and “applicable standards” nine times, but these laws and standards are not specified or defined. If this Decree-Law does not say what law or standard is applicable, how is an oil company or regulator to know? Legal clarity is essential to ensure proper checks and balances, oversight, audits and independent reviews by third parties, as well as to empower other state agencies, including the ministries responsible for environment, health, agriculture, land, and rural development, as well as oversight and judicial agencies.

  • Petroleum regulation is part of the State of Timor-Leste, not above it.
    The drafters of this Decree-Law relied on the Organic Decree-Law for the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. However, that law will soon be replaced as the new government defines its structure. Furthermore, as a Decree-Law it cannot override Parliamentary Laws and cannot grant MPRM powers which belong to other ministries. In particular, environmental licensing and oversight is the mandate of another ministry, as are land ownership and expropriation. Onshore petroleum operations must respect the laws, processes and powers of these bodies, rather than living under a separate regime.
       During fifteen years as an independent nation, Timor-Leste’s ministries and legislators have enacted many laws. This draft decree-law ignores all except the
    Petroleum Activities Law, and contradicts or violates many laws, including those on land, expropriation, Petroleum Fund, civil code, labor code, criminal code, base law on environment, environmental licensing, protected areas, bidding rounds, private investment and procurement. Article 201 of this draft decree-law would unconstitutionally revoke all of these existing laws, and therefore must be removed.

Everyone has the right to appeal to court.
Timor-Leste’s judicial system applies sanctions and hears appeals resulting from administrative decisions. The law should clearly state that anyone affected by petroleum operations can appeal such decisions to the Ministerial level and to the courts.

  • Provisions on transparency and public information are shamefully bad.
    Timor-Leste was a founding member of EITI and a leader in petroleum contract transparency. We hope that this nation continues to uphold these goals, and are disappointed that this draft Decree-Law has so few requirements for effective public notification, reporting or a public registry. (Our submission names about 40 articles which should be amended to require public information.) They law should require, rather than prevent, the sharing of information.

  • This draft law endangers the environment and confuses evaluation and licensing.
    Timor-Leste enacted laws on environmental principles and environmental licensing five years ago. These laws spell out principles, evaluations, management, planning, approval processes, consultation, licensing and public information requirements which apply to petroleum projects, among others. For environmental regulation to be effective, it must be administered by an agency which is not also responsible for implementing a project, but this conflict of interest exists throughout the draft law.
       The law should encourage reuse or recycling of “waste materials”, minimizing the amount to be discarded. Petroleum activities often create pollution and contamination which endure long after a project is decommissioned, but the draft law does not provide for long-term cleanup or monitoring, nor does it adequately consider or require restoration of polluted lands and waters to the condition they were in before petroleum activities began.
       If a contractor leaves an area of private or public land because their prospecting did not find anything commercial, the law should explain their clean-up responsibilities, including restoration.  Abandoned exploration or production wells, pipes or other facilities need to be monitored more effectively and for longer, and contractors should be responsible for the safe disposal of waste, toxic chemicals, and contaminated soil and water. Decommissioning Plans should also be required as part of the initial environmental license.

  • Emergency response should protect local communities and clean up the mess.
    This proposed decree-law does not adequately recognize the dangers posed to local communities by abnormal operation or incidents such as accidents, spills, fires, explosions and other unexpected occurrences. We should learn from the wide range of disasters in worldwide petroleum operations, and not repeat them.
       Improvements are needed in terms of public notice, what events are reportable, disclosure in annual reports, pipeline and storage facility plans. Emergency Response and Oil Spill Contingency Plans should be approved by environmental authorities, and need to be more comprehensive to cover all possible events, including sanctions if the plans are not implemented after an accident or spill.

  • Health and safety require better protection.
    La’o Hamutuk identified a number of issues which should be addressed; a thorough review by more qualified people would find many more. Our submission describes six specific weaknesses.

  • This law violates people’s right to access and own land.
    Expropriation can only be used for "public use," and it would be unfortunate and illegal to expropriate land temporarily for prospecting which does not find a commercial discovery. The law needs to be clearer about petroleum activities on private land -- what is the landowner entitled to, can they be temporarily displaced, and what other rights and obligations do they have? Since the recently-awarded PSCs cover more than one-eighth of Timor-Leste’s territory, most of which is privately or communally owned, these are urgent and important questions.
       The Laws on Expropriation and Spatial Planning were just promulgated, and this onshore decree-law was drafted before they were finalized. Other areas which need to consider land implications include seepage use, safety zones, protected areas, "restricted use," surface activities, compensation for environmental damage, appeals and insurance.

  • Local content benefits from the petroleum industry are illusory.
    The extensive discussion of Local Content in this draft decree-law implies that employment and subcontracts could be a major contributor to Timor-Leste’s development. This is not true, and leads to unrealistic expectations. The petroleum industry is among the least efficient job creators of any economic sector -- money spent on health care creates three times as many direct and indirect jobs, while spending on education creates five times as many.

  • TimorGAP should not get special favors; the playing field should be level.
    A principal motivation for this draft decree-law is attracting international oil companies, but some provisions undercut this by giving favors to the TimorGAP national oil company. ANPM and this decree-law should safeguard the national interest, not only the interests of TimorGAP, which should have to follow the same standards for qualifications, transfer fees, liabilities and decommissioning as other companies.
       The law gives TimorGAP immediate, automatic ownership of equipment brought in by other companies, which will deter them from coming. Similarly, TimorGAP should not be able to pre-empt other companies if an interest in a PSC is sold, and should have to carry its share of exploration costs.
       This decree-law should not require that the nonexistent Suai Supply Base be used for operations far from Suai or for which another facility would be more appropriate, forcing other companies to subsidize a state project of dubious viability.
       Current law describes open bidding for new contracts, but this proposed decree-law makes no reference to open tenders, and does not refer to a Model PSC. Individual, secret contracting opens the door to corruption and favoritism.  Since 2007, Timor-Leste has signed two offshore and two onshore Contracts, all through direct awards without open bidding, and all involving TimorGAP. This pattern, encouraged by this draft law, betrays the open, fair policies which underlie the 2005 Petroleum Activities Law. It could scare away legitimate companies and attract unscrupulous ones looking to take advantage of Timor-Leste.
       The proposed law requires companies to supply petroleum to the domestic market. Will Timor-Leste have to buy petroleum from local producers even if it costs more than it would from other sources? This could be a backhanded way to force Timorese citizens or consumers to subsidize an unviable petroleum project.

Tuir mai, versaun seluk ne’ebé rezumu ona husi pontu importante sira ne’ebé ami diskute:

  • Konsultasaun Públiku Esensiál tebes ba Lei ida ne’e, maibé ema hotu tenke rona no habelar liu tan.
    Governu foun sei labele atu rezolve lei ida ne’e iha fulan barak nia laran. Ami enkoraja ita boot sira atu hetan konsellu husi peritu sira ne’ebé iha końesimentu kle’an kona ba direitu ba rai, konsultasaun públiku, protesaun Ambientál, resposta ba urjénsia, transparénsia no area relevante sira seluk.
       Konsultasaun la hanesan ho sosializasaun. Aleinde hato’o ba públiku kona ba intensaun espesífiku iha ezbosu lei ida ne’e ba saida, no ita-boot sira foti mós sira nia hanoin no preokupasaun hotu ba iha konsiderasaun no modifika lei ne’e atu refleta preokupasaun sira nian. ANPM justifika ba La’o Hamutuk kona ba aspetu balu husi Lei ida ne’e hanesan “desizaun polítika,” ne’ebé staff tékniku sira rasik labele atu esplika ka halo mudansa ruma. Grupu sosiedade sivíl la’ós peritu tékniku, maibé ami fornese hanoin polítiku bazeia ba povu sira nia direitu, nesesidade, perspetiva no esperiénsia. Iha estadu demokrátiku, konsultasaun públiku mak hanesan baze ba prosesu polítiku ida ne’ebé lider polítiku sira tenke rona povu sira ne’ebé hili ona sira ba kaer knaar ida-idak.

    Projetu konsultasaun públiku tenke hala’o livre, antes no ho informasaun adekuadu.
    Ema hotu ne’ebé iha poténsia boot atu hetan impaktu husi projetu iha direitu ba informasaun no konsultasaun, inklui sira ne’ebé hela ka servisu besik ka sira ne’ebé besik iha plataforma rai maran ninian, hela iha fatin izoladu mesak ka ho família, ka buka moris ne’ebé depende de’it ba anin, rai, bee matan ka husi bee ne’ebé afetadu husi projetu ida ne’e. Konsultasaun públiku tenke sai obrigatóriu, no komunidade lokál ne’ebé sei hetan impaktu iha direitu atu la aseita ba desizaun sira. Sira tenke hetan informasaun antes la’ós de’it kona ba “tipu, durasaun no sasán hirak ne’ebé sei hetan estragu” husi operasaun mina, maibé mós kona ba impaktu ba sira nia saúde, agrikultura, fornesimentu bee, peska, movimentu livre, poluisaun ár, risku asidente no efeitu potensiál seluk ba sira nia moris.
       Se bainhira esplozaun ka esplozaun sízmiku sei uza duni, ema balu ne’ebé hela ka servisu besik tenke hetan konsiderasaun liu-liu ba sira ne’ebé vulneravel liu,” hanesan ema hirak ne’ebé afeta ona husi stress ba trauma ida antes (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) akontese iha territóriu Timor-Leste, ho nune’e informasaun efetivu sai esensiál tebes ba sira.

  • Lei iha forsa boot liu duke dekretu-lei, no tenke respeita ka halo revizaun.
    Dekretu-lei ida ne’e labele altera Lei Parlamentár ka foti forsa esklusiva ne’ebé fó knaar ba Parlamentu liu husi artigu 95 iha Konstituisaun RDTL (KRDTL). Ida ne’e labele kria lejizlasaun kona ba buat hotu ne’ebé mensiona ona iha KRDTL artigu 96, inklui definisaun kona ba krime foun, laho autorizasaun klaru parlamentár ninian. Artigu barak iha lei ida ne’e mak aumenta ka troka ona Lei No 13/2005 kona ba Atividade Petrolíferu, entaun Parlamentu tenke halo rezumu no revizaun Lei ida ne’e antes Dekretu-lei Operasaun Rai Maran (onshore) tama iha konsiderasaun. Hafoin ida ne’e, versaun simples husi dekretu-lei ne’e, hamutuk ho modelu Kontratu Fahe Produsaun (PSC), bele estabelese regulamentu sira ho espesífiku kona ba atividade petrolifeiru sira iha rai maran.

  • Lei ida ne’e tenke maximiza benefísiu ba públiku no proteje públiku nia direitu sira.
    Órgaun reguladór sira mak iha responsabilidade atu proteje ba interese públiku, la’ós atu fó riku soin Timor-Leste ninian ba empreza privada sira. Se kompańia ida lakohi mai iha ne’e tanba ita nia regulamentu ne’ebé forte no rigorozu liu ka obriga sira atu fahe sira nia lukru ba povu sira, ida ne’e kompańia nia problema, la’ós ita nian. Regulamentu Timor-Leste nian tenke dezeńa atu atrai de’it kompańia hirak ne’ebé hatene rekonhese katak sira tenke kontribui ba moris di’ak ba ita nia povu bainhira sira hetan lukru husi ita nia rekursu natural, duke atu atrai hotu investor oi-oin ne’ebé hakarak de’it halo esplorasaun ba ita nia rekursu, ema, fatin atu halo operasaun ba.

    Prioritiza interese públiku, la’ós esplorasaun ba rekursu sira.
    Objetivu husi lei ida ne’e tenke maximiza benefísiu ba povu, liu husi taxa no empregu sira, no mós minimiza risku sira. Se rezerva mina la viavel iha merkadu, ka bainhira kustu sira ekonómiku, ambiental no sosiál boot liu fali kompara ho benefísiu ba públiku, di’ak liu atu la kontinua no husik hela de’it, laiha razaun atu fó subsídiu ba projetu mina husi povu nian osan.

    “Pratika Di’ak iha Kampu Mina” la to’o; lei ne’e tenke klaru.
    “Pratika Di’ak iha Kampu Mina” (Good oilfield practice) ida ne’e mensiona dala 71, maibé la define klaru, entaun imposivel atu obriga kompańia sira atu tuir. Liafuan la klaru hanesan ne’e dala barak uza iha nmasaun seluk, maibé Timor-Leste tenke aprende husi esperiénsia aat sira no konflitu jerál sira ne’ebé kauza husi rekursu iha sékulu 20, atu dezenvolve padraun di'ak liu ba sékulu 21.
       Ezbosu ida ne’e refere ba “Lei ne’ebé aplika” (applicable law) dala 105, no “standar ne’ebé aplika” dala sia, maibé lei hirak ne’e no standar la espesífiku ka la defini. Se bainhira dekretu-Lei la mensiona kona ba lei saida ka standar aplikativu, oinsá kompańia mina ka reguladór tenke hatene? Klaridade legál importante tebes atu garante check-balance ida ne’ebé di’ak, fiskalizasaun, audit no revizaun independente liu husi parte terseiru, hanesan atu kapasita ajénsia estadu sira seluk, inklui ministériu kompetente sira ba meiu ambiente, saúde, agrikultura, rai no dezenvolvimentu rural, hanesan ho ajénsia supervizaun no judisiál sira.

  • Regula setór petróleu hola parte ba estadu Timor-Leste, labele liu ida ne’e.
    Ema hirak ne’ebé hakerek ezbosu lei ida ne’e bazeia ba Dekretu-Lei Orgániku ba Ministériu Petróleu no Rekursu Minerais. Entretantu, lei ida ne’e iha tempu besik sei substitui bainhira governu foun defini sira nia estrutura. Seluk, hanesan dekretu-lei labele kontradís lei Parlamentár no labele fó podér ba MPRM se bainhira knaar no podér loloos ba ministériu seluk. Partikulármente, lisensiamentu ambientál no fiskalizasaun hanesan knaar ba ministériu seluk. Operasaun mina iha rai maran tenke haktuir no respeita lei, prosesu no podér husi órgaun sira ne’e, duke nafatin sai sees husi rejime ida ne’e.
       Durante periodu independensia tinan 15, ministériu sira iha Timor-Leste no órgaun legisladór sira aprova ona lei barak. Ezbosu iha dekretu-lei ida ne’e la konsidera buat hotu, duké Lei Atividade Petrolíferu, no kontradís ka viola lei barak, inklui lei sira relasiona ho rai, espropriasaun, Fundu Petrolíferu, kódigu sivil, kodigu laboral,
    kódigu penál, lei báziku ba ambiente, lisensiamentu ambientál, area protejidu sira, konkursu ba projetu, investimentu privadu, no aprovizionamentu. Artigu 201 husi ezbosu dekretu-lei ida ne’e bele konsidera inkonstituisional no bele revoga lei sira seluk ne’ebé eziste ona, tanba ida ne’e dekretu-lei ida ne’e presiza halakon.

    Ema hotu iha direitu atu lori kazu ba tribunal.
    Sistema judisiál Timor-Leste nian aplika sansaun no rona mós rekurus ne’ebé rezulta husi desizaun administrativu. Lei ne’e tenke mensiona klaru katak ema hotu ne’ebé hetan impaktu husi operasaun petrólifeiru bele lori desizaun sira husi nivel ministerial no ba tribunal.

  • Artigu sira kona-ba transparénsia no informasaun ba públiku sai aat liu.
    Timor-Leste nudár membru fundadór ITIE (EITI) ninian no lidera iha transparénsia ba kontratu petrolíferu iha mundu. Ami espera katak nasaun ida ne’e kontinua valoriza objetivu hirak ne’ebé hatuur ona, no la satisfeitu tanba ezbosu dekretu-lei ida ne’e inklui rekezitus balu de’it atu hato’o informasaun ba públiku ida ne’ebé efetivu, relatóriu ka rejistu públiku.  (Ami nia submisaun lista maizumenus artigu 40 ne’ebé presiza alterasaun atu obriga atu fó informasaun ba públiku.) Lei ida ne'e tenke rekere, la’ós prevene, fahe informasaun.

  • Ezbosu lei ida ne’e ameasa ambiente no kria konfuzaun entre prosesu avaliasaun no lisensiamentu.
    Timor-Leste aprova lei sira ba iha prinsipiu ambiente no lisensiamentu ambientál iha tinan lima liu ba. Lei hirak ne’e define prinsipiu sira, avaliasaun, jestaun, planu, prosesu aprovasaun, konsultasaun, lisensiamentu no rekezitu sira atu informa ba públiku ne’ebé aplika ba projetu petrolíferu , no mós ba sira seluk. Ba regulamentu ambiente atu sai efetivu liu, administrasaun tenke halo husi ajénsia ida ne’ebé la’ós nudár responsavel ba implementa projetu ida ne’e, maibe iha ezbosu lei ida ne’e iha konflitu interese iha fatin barak.
       Lei ida ne’e tenke enkoraja nafatin atu hare kona ba uza fila fali
    (reuse) ka resiklajen husi “sasán ne’ebé la uza ona”, nune’e bele minimiza sasán sira ne’e atu soe. Atividade petrolíferu dala barak prodús poluisaun no rezulta kontaminasaun ida ne’ebé ho durasaun kleur bainhira projetu la ativu ona, maibé ezbosu lei ida ne’e temi kona ba oinsá atu hamoos fila fali ba tempu naruk ka monitor, no la konsidera ho di’ak ka rekere kona ba restorasaun poluisaun iha rai no bee atu fila fali ba kondisaun ida antes atividade petrolíferu ne’e hahú.
       Se bainhira kontraktór sira remata no husik hela rai privada ka públiku tanba sira la hetan valor komersiál, lei ida ne’e tenke esplika kona ba sira nia responsabilidade atu hamoos fila fali inklui restora fila fali rai ka bee ne’ebé kontaminadu ona. Posu esplorasaun ka posu produsaun, kadoras no fasilidade sira seluk ne’ebé sira husik hela tenke monitor ne’ebé efetivu no dura kleur, no kontraktór sira tenke responsabiliza fo’er sira ne’ebé sira soe, sasán kímiku venenu sira, inklui rai no bee ne’ebé kontaminadu ona. Planu sira kona ba dezativasaun ba projetu tenke sai hanesan parte inisiál ida ba lisensiamentu ambientál.

  • Resposta ba urjénsia tenke proteje komunidade lokál no hamoos fo’er sira.
    Proposta ba dekretu-lei ida ne’e la rekońese ho di’ak kona ba ameasa ba komunidade lokál husi projetu ne’ebé la la’o normal ka hetan problema ruma hanesan asidente, nakfakar, ahi han, esplozaun no problema seluk ne’ebé la antisipa atu mosu. Ita tenke aprende husi dezastre lubuk ne’ebé iha mundu akontese husi operasaun petrolíferu ninian, no ita labele atu repete fali ida ne’e.
       Presiza hadiak liu tan parte kona-ba informasaun públiku, eventu saida de’it tenke iha hato’o, mensiona iha relatóriu anuál, planu sira ba kadoras no fasilidade armazenamentu. Resposta ba urjénsia no planu kontinjénsia bainhira mina nakfakar tenke aprovadu liu husi autoridade ambientál, no tenke komprensivu no kle’an atu kobre hotu eventu ne’ebé posivel ona, inklui sansaun se bainhira planu tiha no la implementa hafoin asidente ka nakfakar ruma iha.

  • Saúde no seguransa presiza tebes atu iha protesaun di’ak liu.
    La’o Hamutuk identifika ona issue lubuk ida ne’ebé bele tau atensaun ba; analiza kle’an no kompleta husi ema sira ne’ebé kualifikadu no bele hetan barak tan. Ami nia submisaun deskreve mós kona ba frakeza sira ne’ebé espesífiku.

  • Lei ida ne’e viola direitu ema nian kona ba asesu no sira nia rai.
    Espropriasaun bele aplika de’it ba “uzu públiku,” no sai lamentasaun ida no ilegál atu foti no halo espropriasaun ba rai ho temporariamente hodi nafatin buka kandidatu ne’ebé la hetan valor komersiál. Lei ne’e presiza atu klaru kona ba atividade mina iha rai privadu sira – Títulu saida mak rai na’in hetan, sira bele muda temporáriu, no direitu saida de’it no obrigasaun saida de’it mak sira iha? Dezde foin lalais ne’e PSC manán ona atu kobre 1/8 husi territóriu Timor-Leste; barak liu husi ida ne’e mak rai privadu ka rai komunal ninian, hirak ne’e mak sai urjénsia no pergunta importante.
       Lei espropriasaun no planu spasiál foin promulga ona, no dekretu-lei rai maran halo ezbosu uluk antes lei sira ne’e finaliza. Area seluk ne’ebé presiza mós atu konsidera mak implikasaun ba rai inklui infiltrasaun, zona seguransa, area protejidu “uzu ne’ebé limitadu” atividade sira iha superfísie (rai maran), kompensasaun ba ambiente ne’ebé hetan estragu, pedidu no seguru.

  • Benefísiu sira iha kontextu lokál husi indústria mina hanesan mehi de’it.
    Diskusaun kle’an kona ba kontextu lokál iha ezbosu dekretu-lei ida ne’e mensiona de’it katak empregu sira no subkontratu sira bele kontribui buat boot ba dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste nian. Ida ne’e laloos, no lori ita ba espektasaun ida ne’ebé la realistíku. Indústria petrolíferu sai hanesan parte ida husi kriasaun servisu ida ne’ebé la efisiente – kada dolar gasta ba saúde fo dala tolu empregu diretu ka indiretu duke dolar ida gasta ba setor petrolíferu, no gasta ba edukasaun kuaze kria empregu dala lima barak liu.

  • TimorGap labele hetan tratamentu espesiál; kompańia hotu tenke iha oportunidade hanesan.
    Motivasaun prinsipál ida ba ezbosu dekretu-lei ida ne’e atu atrai kompańia mina internasionál sira, maibé proposta balu hafraku liu husi fó preferensia ba TimorGap hanesan kompańia nasional. ANPM no dekretu-lei ida ne’e tenke proteje interese nasional, la’ós de’it ba interese TimorGap ninian, ne’ebé tenke haktuir standar ne’ebé hanesan ba kualifikasaun, taxa transferénsia, devér sira no projetu sira ne’ebé la ativu ona hanesan empreza sira seluk.
       Lei ida ne’e fó dalan fasil liu ba TimorGap, automátika sai na’in ba ekipamentu sira ne’ebé kompańia sira seluk lori mai, ne’ebé bele hapara sira atu mai. Nune’e mós TimorGap labele atu foti fatin husi empreza seluk se bainhira konsorsiu iha PSC fa’an tiha, no tenke selu ba parte ne’ebé mak sira gasta ona husi fahe kustu esplorasaun.
       Dekretu-lei ida ne’e la presiza rekere sira atu uza Suai Supply Base ne’ebé too ohin loron laiha hodi uza ba operasaun ne’ebé dook husi Suai ka ba ida ne’ebé ho fasilidade apropriadu liu, dudu kompańia seluk atu halo subsídiu ba projetu estadu ida ne’ebé realidade nia viabilidade inserteza hela.
       Lei ida seluk deskreve kona ba loke konkursu ba oferese projetu ho kontratu foun, maibé proposta dekretu-lei ne’e la refere ba konkursu nakloke, no la refere ba modelu PSC ninian. Individual, kontratu segredu sira fó dalan atu iha korrupsaun no favoritizmu. Dezde 2007, Timor-Leste asina ona kontratu rua ba iha tasi okos
    (offshore) no kontratu rua bai ha rai maran (onshore), hirak ne’e hotu liu husi ajudikasaun diretu (la’ós konkursu loke) ba projetu foun, no hotu-hotu envolve mós TimorGap. Padraun ida ne’e, haforsa liu husi ezbosu lei ida ne’e, halo traisaun ba polítika ida ne’ebé nakloke no justu ho baze ba iha Lei Atividade Petrolíferu 2005 ninian. Ida ne’e bele hata’uk kompańia sira ne’ebé ho lejitimidade boot, no atrai fali kompańia ne’ebé hakarak hetan de’it vantajen husi Timor-Leste.
       Proposta lei ida ne’e husu atu kompańia sira fornese mina no gas ba iha merkadu doméstiku. Timor-Leste sei bele sosa mina husi produsaun lokál maski kustu boot liu fali husi fatin seluk? Ida ne’e bele sai maneira indireta ida atu obriga Timoroan sira ka konsumidór sira hodi fo subsídiu ba projetu mina ne’ebé la viavel.

In force in 2020

Although the Council of Ministers approved the Onshore Decree-Law in February 2019, it was promulgated more than a year later, as Decree-Law 18/2020 of 13 May as announced by ANPM. It will come into effect in mid-August 2020.

En vigor 2020

Maski Konsellu Ministru aprova ona Dekretu-lei Rai Maran ninian (Onshore) iha Fevereiru 2019, ida ne’e hetan promulgasaun kuaze liu tiha tinan ida, hanesan Dekretu-lei 18/2020 iha 13 Maiu (Port) ne’ebé fó sai husi ANPM (Eng). Sei tama en vigor iha médiu Agostu 2020.

Onshore projects

Although regulations had not been enacted, on 7 April 2017, the ANPM awarded two contracts for onshore oil and gas exploration to a joint venture equally owned by TimorGAP and Timor Resources, which is part of the Australian Nepean Group of companies. Timor Resources will be the operator for both PSC TL-OT-17-08 (Covalima and Bobonaro municipalities, area A on map at right) and PSC TL-OT-17-09 (Manufahi and Ainaro municipalities, Area C), totalling 2,000 square kilometers.

The contracts were celebrated by Timor-Leste's government (also 7 MB video), ANPM, TimorGAP and Timor Resources (see also the Technical press release). Although Timor-Leste's project proponents hoped for "maximum benefits for Timor," Australian news coverage in NT News and the Financial Review expected Darwin to benefit economically by providing logistical supply, as well as a possible refinery.

Timor Resources began seismic exploration in October 2018, and in September 2019 began environmental assessment for drilling, which was expected to begin in March 2020.  On 16 January 2020, amendments were issued to these two PSCs, extending their areas by several km into the sea, modifying the decommissioning contract and adding specificity to the Local Content projects. Download addenda to PSC17-08 and PSC17-09 (also English).

ANPM issued environmental licenses for the initial exploratory drilling in March 2020, based on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP). 

In April 2020, due to Covid-19 and the drop in worldwide oil prices, Timor Resources decided to suspend the project for 4-7 months until the situation changes. Initial drilling will not happen before October, if then. In July, Lusa reported that they hope to start drilling in late 2020 or early 2021.

The Environmental Management Plan for the Area A was revised in December 2020. Appendices to the revised EMP cover Waste management (A), Rehabilitation (B), Redress (C), Oil spill response Jan-21 (D), Traffic management (E), Inspection schedule (F), Noise management (G), Incident reporting Sep-20 (H), Community consultation (I) and Air quality (J). ANPM approved it in July 2021.

In September 2021, ANPM held a consultation on the proposed test well in Area C, and La'o Hamutuk made a submission and published a blog Onshore oil drilling imminent despite serious concerns.

Updated and additional information and documents is on our pages on Production-Sharing Contracts and Environmental Licensing.

Projeitu sira iha rai maran

Maski regulamentu sira ne’e seidauk hetan aprovasaun, iha 7 Abril 2017. ANPM manán ona kontratu rua ba esplorasaun mina no gas iha joint venture hanesan na’in hotu husi TimorGAP no Timor Resources, ne’ebé hola parte mós iha kompańia Grupu Nepean iha Australia. Timor Resources sei sai operadór ba parte rua ne’e PSC TL-OT-17-08 (munisipiu Covalima no Bobonaro, area A iha mapa sorin karuk) no PSC TL-OT-17-09 (munisipiu Manufahi no Ainaro, Area C), ho total 2,000 kilómetru kuadradu.

Kontratu sira ne’e selebra ona husi Governu Timor-Leste (no mós video 7 MB), ANPM, TimorGAP no Timor Resources (bele hare mós komunikadu imprensa tekniku). Mezmu nune’e, proponente Timor-Leste nian ba projetu sira ne’e espera katak “maximiza benefísiu ba Timor,” kobertura notísia Australia nian iha NT News no Revista Finansiál ne’ebé hanoin katak Darwin atu benefísiu ekonomikamente liu husi fornese apoiu lojistiku, hanesan mós posibilidade iha refinaria.

Timor Resources hahú peskiza sízmiku iha Outubru 2018, no iha Setembru 2019 sira hahú avaliasaun ambientál atu halo posu, ne’ebé sira planu atu hahú iha Marsu 2020. Iha loron 16 Janeiru 2020, PSC rua hetan alterasaun, atu haluan sira nia area ba kilometre balun iha tasi, altera kontratu ba dezmantelmentu, no fo detallu liu ba projetu sira ba konteúdu lokál. Bele download addenda ba PSC17-08 no PSC17-09.

In fulan Abril 2020, tanba pandemia Covid-19 no folin mina tuun iha mundu, Timor Resources deside atu la hala'o projetu ida ne'e ba fulan 4-7, too iha mudansa iha situasaun. Perfurasaun ba posu primeiru sei labele akontese too fulan Outubru, ka tarde liu.

Atualizasaun no informasaun adisionál sei iha ami nia pájina Kontratu Fahe Produsaun (Production-Sharing Contracts).




The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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