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Oil & Gas Explorations
Implications to Timor-Leste

By Francisco da Costa Monteiro*

* Adviser, Natural Resource Division
Economy and Planning Advisory Unit
Office of the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Palace of Ashes, Rumbia, Cai-coli, Dili, Timor-Leste, + (670) 333 9011, ext 203, + (670) 724 9085 (mobile),, or

Paper presented to the workshop on Transparency and Accountability in Government, organized by the Democracy Council with support from USAID. Dili, 22-25 March 2004

Objective of this Workshop is:

  1. To present to the participants an understanding of basic concepts leading to the potentality of petroleum in Timor-Leste (geology, exploration history on onshore and offshore area and propective areas)
  2. To present to the participant the current development of petroleum in Timor-Leste (Timor Sea), how it was initiated, what are the names of the oil and gas fields, what is Timor-Leste’s share from two different scenarios, what are the processes, who are the parties involve, and what are implications.


1.1 Geology and Petroleum Potential of Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste as part of the island of Timor is a zone of thrust-fold belt[1], meaning a suture zone where the two large plates, the Australian continental plate and Banda Island Arc plate collided. A “Plate is large block of landmasses, which essentially migrate over the plastic lithosphere (upper mantle) ranging in thickness from 20-35 km. The collisions occurred as the leading edge of Australian continental plate arrived at the subduction zone, currently lie to the north of Timor, and collided with the island arcs (Wetar-Atauro-Alor-Kisar, etc). This event caused the distal Australian continental margin sediments that were scrapped-off and incorporated with Banda arc terrain, are emplaced on top of the folded-proximal Australian continental sediments.

The folding and thrusting of the sedimentary units may cause structural trap of pre-existing hydrocarbons. It is in this context that Timor Leste can be potentially holding large quantity of oil and gas reserves. However, prerequisite to this, the rocks of proto-Timor before the collision must contain rocks that can generate hydrocarbon, the source rocks, and rocks that can hold the hydrocarbons in its pore spaces, the reservoir rock. The source rocks that contain high percentage of organic matter must be “cooked” thermally through geological burden and time. All these conditions are met in Timor-Leste and its southern offshore area (Timor Sea).

Timor-Leste can be regarded as part of Australian continental margin that have received sediments since at least some 260 Million Year Ago (mya), the Permian time, and Timor Sea, which lies in the Northern Bonaparte Basin received sediments since Devonian time (400 mya)[2]. The Timor Through with the water depth ranging from 1500 to 3000 meters is the present active foreland basin form as a lithosphere isostatic response to the overloaded crust to the north of it, the Timor Island.

Geological History

The geological history of Timor Island can be summarised as follow:

  1. Timor was part of the Australian continental margin whereby the sediments deposited since at least Permian (260 mya), and since Devonian (400 mya) in the Timor Sea.
  2. The depocenter of Timor was in the northern continental shelf of Australia.
  3. In Jurassic (some 200-150 mya) the area start to be segmented and new oceanic crust were formed as the rifting and drifting started to occur in the North West Shelf of Australia. This formed the oceanic crust that located to the north of proto-Timor Island.
  4. In response to the opening of Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand (some 80 mya), Australia plate started to move northward subducting the front end of Australia plate which is composed of the newly formed oceanic crust beneath the island arcs forming what is now called Banda Island Arcs (Wetar-Atauro-Alor-Kisar, etc). This subduction caused the formation of magmas beneath the island arcs and erupted as volcanoes, e.g.,  Atauro volcanic island.
  5. As the Australian plate continued to move north, eventually the leading edge of the Australian continental crust (which some are now forming rocks in the northern Timor-Leste) arrived at the subduction zone. Due to the relative lighter nature of continental rocks, the plate could not enter into the subduction zone but to collide and some of the sediments were scrapped-of incorporated with some of Banda Arc Terrain overthrusted onto the relative coherent proximal Australian continental sediments (the rocks in the middle and southern part of Timor-Leste).
  6. This collision caused the volcanism to cease. Rapid uplift was associated with this cessation, because the continental plate, the formed Timor Island, started to emerge above the sea level as the crust rebounded from the isostatic adjustment.  In response to this to the south there is rapid downwrapping or buckling down of the continental crust forming the now known Timor Trough. Essentially Timor Trough is a foreland basin of the Timor Fold-Thrust Belt.
  7. Further south to the area of Timor Sea, the collision has caused some reactivation of pre-existing structures/faults.

Illustratively, the geological history of Timor-Leste can be depicted as diagrams below:

1.2 Exploration History

      1.2.1 Onshore

Onshore petroleum explorations began since early nineties. The earliest exploration wells were drilled in Aliambata to a depth of 140 m in 1910; at Pualaca; and in the Suai area at Ranuc, Matai in 1914[3]. All these wells were drilled on the basis of nearby oil seeps. The first Aliambata well reportedly flowed at a rate of 37 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) at a depth of about 100 m[4]. During Indonesia occupation (1975 to 1999) very little attention is given to the exploration of the onshore Timor-Leste, due to the security situation in the country.

1.2.2 Offshore

Offshore petroleum explorations started since 1960 in Timor Sea region with the permit given by Australian government to the Burmah-Woodside Subsidiary (BOCAL). The exploration was halted since 1975 due to the political changes in Timor-Leste and was resumed in 1992 after the Indonesia and Australia signed a Treaty 1989 to explore and develop jointly the area.

The exploration come to it fruitfulness when the drilling of Elang-1 oil discovery in Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation (ZOC) was completed in February 1994 and recorded flow of 5,800 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). The Elang-1 discovery can be regarded as the first milestone leading-up to the discoveries of the other fields in the JPDA.  The stages leading to the discovery of the Elang-1 commenced with the award of the PSC for ZOCA 91-12 to Petroz and its Joint Ventures in February 1991. These include the minimum work program for seismic acquisition and two exploration wells drilled within three years of PSC term[5]. With the Elang-1 discovery proves the oil generation petroleum system exists in the western part of ZOC (now JPDA). The potential of the area was also confirmed in late 1994 by the discoveries at Kakatua-1, and adjacent Laminaria-1.

1.3 Prospective Areas

1.3.1 Onshore

Using the model of fold-thrust belt system as the way Timor-Leste was formed then it must follow that the deep subsurface of Timor-Leste could be very potential for trapping hydrocarbon reserve. This is because the anticlines that formed as result of folding of the pre-existing Australian continental margins sediments, are known in literature to be very good structural traps. The Cribas anticline, Bazol anticline, Aliambata anticline, and Aituto anticline, are some surface manifestations of this big structures. It has been commonly held that the southern coastal areas are the prospectus part of the hydrocarbon exploration. This is indeed, right in the light of prominent occurrence of oil and gas seeps along this region. However, the presence of oil and gas seep does not necessarily mean the actual oil and gas deposits/reservoir lies exactly below the surface of the seep. These seeps could be generated from a far traveled oil and gas along a weak zones (fracture and or faults). Large dome structures such as Betano area[6], and Baucau, Lospalos areas necessitate to becoming prospective exploration target as well.

1.3.2 Offshore

Based on the geological history of the Timor Island which sets the north coast offshore of Timor-Leste as the zone of collision, important petroleum discoveries can be neglected in this northern part of the island. The sea between Timor Island and Atauro-Wetar, may have been filled with sediments of volcanic origins and some coarse clastic sediments derived from the erosion of the metamorphic rocks from northern part of Timor Island. Very small organic matter can be interpreted to contain in the sediments.  Even if the organic matters exist abundantly, the relative new age of this basin precludes the thermal maturation of the hydrocarbon. Therefore, is not prospective for petroleum exploration.

Unlike, northern offshore, however, the southern offshore is known to be very prospective in petroleum. The hydrocarbon has not only been generated from the pre-existing Australian continental margin sediments that formed the basement rocks of this area but also recent syn-collisional sedimentary units contain very high quantity of organic matter and may have thermally cooked due to the overburden of this units by crustal thickening  associated with overthrusting.

This southern offshore area can be divided into three, that is, the area south of the Timor Trough, which is adjacent to the present major oil and gas fields (north of the JPDA); the disputed areas, e.g. JPDA; and the areas north of the Timor Trough. The later area may contain huge oil and gas reserve trapped in the “Triangle Zones” associated with the fold-thrust zone such as the classical analogous fold-thrust zone of in Alberta, which hold giant hydrocarbon reserve in Southern Canada[7] .


2.1 Timor Sea Negotiations (with Australia)

2.1.1 History of Negotiations

The only area that is currently being developed its oil and gas resources in Timor-Leste is in the joint development area in Timor Sea. This joint development area has been determined through very delicate, time consuming and intricate process dated back in the period of Indonesia occupation in Timor-Leste.

The now known Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA), is a new designated name for the Zone Of Cooperation A (ZOCA), which was established under the Timor Gap Treaty signed between Australia and Indonesia in 1989. The process and negotiations leading toward the establishment of this joint petroleum development area[8]  can be summarized as follow:

  1. Australia and Indonesia came to a negotiation and drawn sea bed boundary in 1972, based on the Australian claim of its natural prolongation of continental shelf. Timor Trough was regarded as the limit of Australian continent natural prolongation of continent. (This claim should now be discarded as the geological model for Timor-Leste does not indicate that Timor Trough is the end of Australian natural prolongation/continental margin).

  2. The lines of this seabed boundary stopped in the east and west of the present JPDA as Portugal, the ruling authority in Timor-Leste at that time, refused to negotiate with Australia in filling this gap, thus giving birth to a gap in the area called Timor Gap.

  3. In 1978, with the changes in the political authorities in Timor-Leste, Australia become the first and the only western country that de jure recognized Indonesia occupation in Timor-Leste and negotiating to close the gap by joining the terminal points of 1972 Indonesia-Australia boundaries.

  4. Indonesia refused and arguing instead that the international law and practice has evolved in favor of median line solution for two opposite coastal states. 

  5. As the two countries negotiating on the basis of two conflicting sea bed boundary claims, it was agreed that the development of the petroleum resources in the area should be conducted jointly through the creation of the Zone Of Cooperation (ZOC) encompassing the disputed area. The lateral boundaries of the area, however, have mistakenly or “intentionally mistakenly” been drawn, which is now further complicating the issue on the boundaries.

  6. The treaty for this cooperation was signed in 1989, and called the Timor Gap Treaty. The Zone of Cooperation   was divided into three, zone A, B, C, covering an area of approximately 62,000 km square. This zone is delineated in the north by Australian view of the correct boundary and bounded in south by Indonesia claim of 200 nautical miles.

  7. Given the recent independence of Timor-Leste, and hence its sovereignty over most of the area of the Timor Gap, Timor-Leste has entered into discussions with the Australian government.

  8. In October 1999, UNTAET as the temporary authority in Timor-Leste, on behalf of the country agreed with Australia, though an Exchange of Notes, to continue the “terms” in Timor Gap Treaty.

  9. As an interim arrangement, the agreement enabled the companies investing in the area to continue their exploration and exploitation activities.

  10. In late 2000, negotiations began towards reaching an agreement to replace the interim arrangement that was to expire upon Timor-Leste’s formal impendence.

  11. On July 2001 Timor-Leste Transitional Administration (ETTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to propose an agreement suitable to adopt as a Treaty, the Timor Sea Arrangement, which established a Joint Petroleum Development Area on the previous area A of ZOC, but altered the split of revenues to 90:10 in favour of Timor-Leste.

  12. Under the proposed Timor Sea Arrangement, the Greater Sunrise was to be unitized on the basis of 20% lies within the JPDA, with the remaining 80% falling under exclusive Australian seabed jurisdictions as defined by 1972 Australia-Indonesia seabed boundary  agreement.

  13. Negotiation on this unitization continued in the lead up to the 20th May 2002, and Timor-Leste was arguing to entitle to the entire Greater Sunrise if the International Maritime Law is to apply. Statements were made that Timor-Leste may be prepared to pursue its entitlement by reference of the dispute to the international Court of Justice.

  14. It was in this climate that Australia in March 2002, withdraw from the ICJ and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

  15. On the eve of Timor-Leste formal Independence Day, 20th May 2002, the Timor-Leste government signed the Timor Sea Treaty, which effectively adopted all the previous Timor Sea Arrangement. As the treaty was waiting for ratification by both parliaments, Exchange of Notes was sent by both governments to enable the continuation of exploration and development activities in the area.

Figure 1.Timor Sea Joint Petroleum Area and the oil fields. Note! Major oil and gas fields such as Laminaria-Carolina & Buffalo, and Greater Sunrise is outside of JPDA but are subject to Timor-Leste maritime boundary jurisdiction under Mid-line principle of UNCLOS. Laminaria-Carolina and Buffalo are currently exploited unilaterally by Australians. Greater Sunrise is now only included 20% in the JPDA and 80% fall within the Australian-claimed waters. The whole fields are supposed to fall within Timor-Leste maritime exclusive jurisdiction if the Mid-line boundary (thick dashed line) is applied. Modified figure from La’o Hamutuk Bulletin.

2.1.2 Current Status of Negotiation

Timor Sea Treaty is an interim agreement pending a final delimitation of the permanent maritime boundary. It does not prejudice the future negotiations on the maritime boundaries between the two countries as stated in the Article 2 of the Treaty[9]:

“Nothing contained in this Treaty and no acts taking place while this Treaty is in force shall be interpreted as prejudicing or affecting Australia’s or East Timor (Timor-Leste)’s position on or rights relating to a seabed delimitation or their respective seabed entitlements”

With this notion in mind, and follow the approval by the parliament the Timor-Leste’s Maritime Zones Act in 23rd July 2003 that claims the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf out to 200 nautical miles from Timor-Leste’s baselines[10], the government of Timor-Leste has no choice but to begin negotiation on the maritime boundary delimitation. On 12th November 2003, first round of negotiation was started in Darwin, whereby Timor-Leste proposed monthly timing negotiations and to set a short and firm timetable for settlement of the issue within 3 to 5 years. However, Australia showed its reluctance by agreed only on twice a year meeting citing the lack of resources as the main reason of refusing the more frequent meetings. The Next round of negotiation is due to held after mid of April in Dili.

Figure 2. Timor-Leste Maritime Zones showing the limits of the EEZ & Continental Shelf before applying Article 33 of the Charter of United Nations. Courtesy of Government of Timor-Leste (Timor Sea Office).

The position of Timor-Leste in the negotiation is clear, that is that:

  1. Timor-Leste inherited no boundary from any previous colonial powers. Timor-Leste is seeking actively to negotiate with its two neighboring countries, Australia and Indonesia, the boundaries and borders delimitations. Timor Sea permanent boundary delimitation negotiation is one of the steps to achieve the whole boundary issues.

  2. Having permanent boundary delimitation settled will give certainty to exploration and exploitation in the area. Therefore will not only benefit Timor-Leste, but also the companies, which are mainly from Australia thus benefiting Australia as well.

  3. Timor-Leste is seeking no more than what belongs to Timor-Leste under internationally acceptable principle, the mid-line solution of United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea.

  4.  Timor-Leste is small and poor country, the oil and gas development in the area can be the only determinant source of revenue to finance the basic services of this country in decades to come. Securing the ownership of the reserve in this area is of tremendous importance to Timor-Leste.

Despite the efforts from Timor-Leste side to push the negotiation a bit faster by proposing monthly meeting, Australia did not respond positively. This effectively triggered national and international outcry pressing the Australian government for a fair, just and short settlement of the issue.  Around 100 NGOs (locals and internationals) wrote to the Prime Minister of Australia to set a firm and short timetable for negotiation[11], followed by coalition of Thailand NGOs calling for fair negotiation by Australia and recent letter from 53 US Congressmen stating Australian as too slow and urging it to move expeditiously in negotiations with Timor-Leste.

This reluctance from Australia side has raised the worry that had already been around at the time leading up to the signing of the Timor Sea Treaty. Many experts raised concerns about Australia would drag the process of negotiations until all the petroleum resources in the area being exploited out. These fears seem to be more actual now than before.

2.2 Timor-Sea Development

2.2.1 Timor Sea Treaty

Under the Timor Sea Treaty the designated Authority is established and together with the Joint Commissioners which composed of two members from Timor-Leste and one from Australia, will manage and oversee the exploration and development of oil and gas in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA). In cases, where the decision can not be made at this DA and Joint Commissioner level, it can be referred to the Ministerial Council which consists of equal number representative of both countries.

Although, the policies and directions for the development of petroleum in JPDA has yet to be defined and formulated in form of regulations, some essential policies crucial for the development are mentioned in the Treaty. These include the clauses of non-prejudicing of the maritime boundary settlement issue, the preference of employment and training of Timorese nationals, etc. These articles in the Treaty however, have yet to be translated into the Petroleum Mining Code (PMC) and Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs).

In normal practice of PSCs in other countries such as in Indonesia, India, under PSCs, the companies/contractors are required to train and employ the contracting state nationals to a certain determined ratio. This include also preference to use up the good and service produced locally as long as they met the required standard and competitive.

So far, around 700 Millions US dollar has been spent in the Timor Sea JPDA exploration activities, and 1.8 Billion US$ capital investment on LNG-Plant and pipeline to Darwin. But negligible source of goods and services and employments have been generated from Timor-Leste. This lackness in sourcing has been deemed as a result of the lack of human resources and the little production of materials and service providers in Timor-Leste. However, the argument ignores the fact that in the earlier 1960s, Indonesia when started its first Productions Sharing Contracts with companies was firm in requesting the companies to train and help building the capacity of the locals. The socioeconomic conditions of Indonesia, at that time, were not much more favorable than Timor-Leste today.

Under the PSC terms, Timor-Leste (contracting state) is required to pay 90% all costs of the explorations, capital investments, day-to-day operational costs and any other costs associated with the development project plus giving 90% of 127% bonuses to the companies (the contractors) from its petroleum production. Hence, Timor-Leste should able to request more benefits than it gets now. The background information on the method of Production Sharing Contract as was in the Timor Gap Treaty is given below.

Methods of Sharing

  1. First, involves sharing of the “First Trenche Petroleum” (FTP).

  2. Second, is Cost Recovery, this is to allow the PSC Contractors to recover from the remaining revenues all prior expenditures on the petroleum explorations plus capital and operational costs.

  3. Third, allow the sharing of any residual production, referred to as “Profit Petroleum”, once all the investment cost has been recovered.

First Trenche Petroleum (FTP)

FTP amounts to 10% of petroleum production during the first five years of the production from PSC area and thereafter increases to 20% for the life of the PSC. The arrangement is such:

A. For crude oil and condensate production up to 50,000 barrels per day, the FTP is share in the ratio 50:50 between Joint Authority/now Designated Authority (Contracting States) and the PSC contractors (the Companies). For the next 100,000 barrel per day of production the ratio of share is 60:40 between Joint Authority/ now Designated Authority and the PSC contractors, and for production above 150,000 barrels per day the respective sharing ratio is 70:30.

B. For natural gas the FTP is share in a fixed ratio that is 50:50 between Joint Authority (now Designated Authority) and the PSC contractors.

Cost Recovery

Cost recovery provisions provide an allowance to the contractors to enable the recovery of actual operational costs incurred plus reasonable return on investment, as much as 227% of the value the initial investment. The operational costs are defined to include all exploration costs, costs for day-to-day operations in the PSC area, and office administration costs.

Profit Petroleum

This is a sharing of the balance of petroleum production (after FTP and cost recovery provisions). The split of this residual production is based on the same sharing arrangement between the Designated Authority and the PSC contractors as apply to the allocation of the FTP.

These arrangements can be summarized in the table below:



Sharing Formula


First 10% of petroleum production in the first 5 years, and 20% thereafter.

Split 50:50 for oil production up to 50,000 barrels/day, and for all gas.

Split 60:40 for oil production between 50,000 to 150,000 barrels/day, and 70:30 for oil production above 150,000 barrels/day


Allows the PSC contractors to recover all costs incurred plus a 127% return on their investment. This includes the costs carried forward from prior years.

100% to PSC Contractors


The balance of all petroleum after FTP and Cost Recovery

Split 50:50 for oil production up to 50,000 barrels/day, and for all gas.

Split 60:40 for oil production between 50,000 to 150,000 barrels/day, and 70:30 for oil production above 150,000 barrels/day

For example:

If in the first year an oil field produces 100,000 barrels of oil per day, than FTP for Timor Leste is calculated as follows:


Because FTP for the first 5 years is 10% of the production rate, so it becomes 10,000 bbls/day.


Because the production is between 50,000 to 150,000 barrels, the split between Contractors (companies) and Designated Authority (Timor-Leste and Australia) is 40:60 respectively, so Designated Authority’s take is 6,000 bbls/day.


Because Timor-Leste has 90% split in the Designated Authority, Timor-Leste’s take of FTP is 5,400 bbls/day

The rest 90,000 bbls/day goes for recovering the investments of the companies (recovery cost).

2.2.2 Timor Sea Oil and Gas Fields

At least 6 major field discoveries have been known in the area of Timor Sea JPDA. They contain vast amount of oil and gas. However, Timor Sea is gas prone zone meaning more gas discoveries than oil[12]. Two main domains can be drawn in the area, namely west domain with predominantly oily zone, the Vulcan Sub basin and some part in Flamingo-High and east domain, which is dominated by gas discoveries. Among them are the huge gas discoveries of Bayu Undan and Greater Sunrise. The Oil and gas fields in Timor Sea are as follow:

Fields Wholly within JPDA

1. Elang Kakatua Kakatua North

This field lies wholly in the JPDA, with PSCs 91-12, produced oil since 1998, and due to cease its production in 2004. Production has declined to about 50.000 barrels (bbls) per day in 2003. The estimated reserve is about 27 million barrels (mmbbls) of oil. Under the Timor-Sea Treaty which came to effect in 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste owns 90 % of this field. However, it has been depleted to about 90 % of its initial reserve at that time of the Treaty in act. Timor Leste’s reserve, calculated from when the Treaty is in act, is about 3 mmbbls of oil (a reserve worth of 60 Million US Dollar). Oparator Conoco-Phillips.

2. Bayu Undan

This field also lies entirely in the JPDA, with its PSCs 91-12 & 91-13, and due to have its first production in 2004. There were some technical problems causing delay in production, but first continuous flow of condensate and gas has been reported in February 2004. The estimated reserve is 3.4 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas and 440 million bbls of condensate. The Operator of the field is ConocoPhillips with 56.72 % of the shares, with Eni/Agip, Santos and Inpex Japan and Tokyo Gas each with 12.04 %, 10.64%, 10.52%, and 10.08 shares respectively. The gas will be piped to Darwin LNG plant, although the distance is twice as further than to Timor-Leste. Note! The statement that pipeline across Timor Trough is technically impossible has lost its base. Recent INTEC, a world leader deepwater[13] pipe-laid company, study has confirmed the possibility of laying pipeline across Timor Trough. In fact, the cost of pipeline to Timor-Leste is 1.5 times cheaper than to Darwin.  Under the current Treaty, Timor-Leste owns 90% of the field, and therefore the reserve estimates for Timor-Leste is about 3.06 TCF (86.598 BCM) of gas, and 396 mmbbls of condensate (a reserve worth of 14 Billion US dollar). However, Timor-Leste has agreed to lose the opportunity of having downstream benefits and capital flow associated with pipeline and LNG-plant projects. Under UNCLOS’s Mid-line principle, Timor-Leste owns 100% of reserve and therefore has more power to control the decision of where the pipeline and the plant have to go.

3. Jahal-Kuda Tasi

These fields lie wholly within the JPDA. The combined reserve from Jahal-Kuda Tasi discoveries is about 25.4 mmbbls of oil (as per Nov. 2003). Development plan is on hold pending final decision from the operators on the type of storage facility. Woodside is the operator (40%), with Inpex Japan (35%), and Santos (25%). With current Treaty, Timor-Leste owns 90% of the reserve and therefore the reserve estimate for Timor-Leste is about 22.8 mmbbls of oil (a reserve worth of 684 Million US Dollar). Under UNCLOS’s Mid-line principle, Timor-Leste owns 100% of the reserve.

Fields Outside or partly within the jpda but subject to maritime boundary claims

4. Greater Sunrise

This field lies approximately 20,1% within JPDA, and 79,9% in the Australian-claimed water. Timor-Leste may claim 100% ownership of this field under UNCLOS. It is a combination of two fields, the Sunrise field and Troubadour field. The estimated reserve is 7.6 TCF of gas and 300 mmbbls of condensate. This is the biggest gas reserve ever found in the area. It will be developed on the basis of Timor Sea Treaty and International Unitisation Agreement (IUA)[14]. The development plan and commercialisation agreement has yet to be decided by the contractors. The operator is Woodside Petroleum (33.4%), with Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Osaka Gas owns 26.6%, 30%, and 10% of shares respectively. Woodside and Shell proposed a new technology of processing the gas offshore, an unstested risky Floating LNG-plant which very high-tech and costly. Phillips preferred to pipe the gas to Darwin for processing in Darwin LNG-plant. None of the companies has ever considered the possibility of piping the gas to and construct an LNG in Timor-Leste. Despite, the distance from Greater Sunrise to Timor-Leste is more than 2 time shorter than to Darwin, and therefore cheaper  and easier than even the Floating LNG. Timor-Leste, with the current Treaty owns about 18% of the field, and therefore the reserve estimate of Timor-Leste is about 1.4 TCF of gas (39.62 BCM) and 59.4 mmbbls of condensate (a reserve worth more than 4 Billion US Dollar), but has no/very less control power over the decision of the type of development.

5 Laminaria-Carolina


This field lies entirely outside the JPDA but subject to Timor-Leste maritime boundary claim. It is currently being exploited by Australian government and starter its production since November 1999.

 Figure 3.  Field Discoveries in Timor Sea and Western Australian Basins. Source:

The Production is due to cease by 2004. Woodside[15] is the main operator. The estimated reserve is about 178 mmbbls of oil (reserve worth of 5.34 Billion US$).

Under the current Treaty arrangement, Timor-Leste has no entitlement, therefore the reserve estimate for Timor-Leste is 0 (zero). In accordance to UNCLOS, Timor Leste could entitle to 100 % of the field.

6. Buffalo

This field lies entirely outside the JPDA but also subject to Timor-Leste maritime boundary claim. It is currently being exploited by Australian and due to cease its production in 2004. The operator is BHP Petroleum. The estimated reserve is about 32 million barrels of oil (reserve worth of 960 Million US$).

Under the current Treaty arrangement, Timor-Leste has no entitlement, therefore the reserve estimate for Timor-Leste is 0 (zero). In accordance to UNCLOS, Timor-Leste could entitle to 100 % of the field.

Table 1. Comparison of reserve and the value of reserve for Timor-Leste under two different scenarios

I. Under the Current Treaty

II. Under UNCLOS Mid-line Principle




Money Value


Money Value

Money value is calculated before the operational costs             and companies’ take

1. Elang Kakatua Kakatua North

3 mmbbls of oil

90 million US$

27 mmbbls

810 million US$

2. Bayu Undan

3.06 TCF of gas, and 396 mmbbls of condensate

14 billion US$

3.4 TCF of gas and 440 mmbbls of condensate

16 Billion US$

3. Jahal-Kuda Tasi

22.8 mmbbls of oil

684 million US$

25.4 mmbbls of oil

762 million US$

4. Greater Sunrise

1.4 TCF of gas, and 59.4 mmbbls of condensate

4 billion US$

7.6 TCF of gas, and 300 mmbbls of condensate

21 billion US$

5. Laminaria-Carolina

0 (zero) reserve to Timor-Leste

0 (zero)

178 mmbbls of oil

5. 34 billion US$

6. Buffalo

0 (zero) reserve to Timor-Leste

0 (zero)

32 mmbbls of oil

960 million US$


Formulas that are used to calculate the money value of hydrocarbon reserve:

1. Gas Product:

…….US$ = Heat Content of Petroleum Product (in MMBtu/bbl) x Reserve (bbl) x Average gas price in the last three years (US$)

Heat content of :             -     Crude oil is 5.8 MMBtu/bbl

-         Condensate is 5.418 MMBtu/bbl

-         Natural Gas 3.735 MMBtu/bbl

Average price of the gas is US$ 3 per  MMBtu

2. Condensate Product:

………US$ = Reserve (bbl) x Average condensate price

Average condensate price is taken at US$ 20 per bbl

3. Oil Product:

………US$ = Reserve (bbl) x Average oil price

Average oil price is taken at US$ 30 per bbl


1 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas are approximately equal to 176.7 million barrel (mmbbls) of oil equivalent (BOE).

1 Barrel (bbl) is equivalent to approximately 159 liters (l)

1 Cubic Feet  (CF) is equal to 0.0283 cubic metres (CM)

1 Barrel is equal to 0.15 cubic metres

MMBtu stands for Million British thermal unit

2.2.3 Total Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Reserve and value in Timor-Sea

Two scenarios can be separated in counting the total petroleum reserve and value for Timor-Leste in Timor Sea area, these are:

  1. In the case of current Treaty arrangement:
    bulletGas  = 4.46 Trillion Cubic Feet = 748 Million Barells of Oil Equivalent  (BOE)
    bulletCondensate = 455.4 Million Barrels
    bulletOil = 25.8 Million Barrels

Total, is 1,229.2 Million BOE , worth more than 19 Billion US Dollar  with average current oil and gas prices.

  1. In the case of Permanent Maritime Boundary Delimitation settled under UNCLOS’s Mid-line principle:
    bulletGas = 11 Trillion Cubic Feet = 1, 870 Million BOE
    bulletCondensate = 770 Million Barrels
    bulletOil = 264.4 Million Barrels

Total, is 2,904.4 Million BOE, worth more than 45 Billion US dollar with average current oil and gas prices.

Text Box: Thus, Timor-Leste is in a position to lose at least 57% of its hydrocarbon reserve (1,675.2 Million BOE) under the current Treaty in place. This is worth of at least US $ 26,000,000,000 (26 Billion US Dollar) cash, before the company’s share and operating costs





2.4 Upstream and Downstream Development

2.4.1 Bayu Undan Project

The Bayu Undan Project is distinguished as the largest investment to date in the Timor Sea. Approximately 1.5 billion is estimated to be spent on the first phase of development. The first phase known as Gas Recycle Project, will involve producing and processing wet gas; separating and storing condensate, propane and butane, and re-injecting the dry natural gas back into the reservoir. Additional 1.8 billion US$ will be spent on the building pipeline and LNG-plant for gas processing in Darwin, at the second phase of development. The estimated direct and indirect jobs created during initial phase of the LNG-plant development will be around 1700 jobs and around 200-500 on the platforms and LNG-plant maintenance and monitoring through out the life-span of the project.

Timor-Leste has missed all of the benefits above. This is because building pipeline to Timor-Leste was deemed technically impossible and therefore Timor-Leste was excluded as a possible option of LNG-plant development destination.

2.4.2        Greater Sunrise Development

Timor-Leste may be fortune that the companies have not yet determined development options for processing the gas from this field. Although, two options have been thrown to the public for last few years, decision has not been made on the actual development plan.

Conoco-Phillips favored the gas processing on onshore Darwin, meaning to build another Liquified Natural Gas Plant in Darwin and therefore has to build another pipeline from Greater Sunrise to Darwin. The Dutch Shell and Woodside Petroleum proposed a new introduced technology of gas processing, the Floating Liquified Natural Gas Plant (FLNG). Timor-Leste was excluded from consideration.

To what extend the decision will be made questions should be raised as to how can a decision be reached when there has been no permanent Maritime Boundaries Delimitation for Timor-Leste? And also the question should be no longer on whether the companies consider or not Timor-Leste as one of the destination option, but rather does Timor-Leste have the authority to request the companies to process the gas on Timor-Leste shore?

Requesting the pipeline and LNG-plant to Timor-Leste should be viewed as a normal practice in oil and gas negotiation. It is universally accepted practice as in many other oil and gas producing countries did and still does! Indonesia, in the early 1960s with very minimum infrastructures, and surely limited qualified human resources has requested the oil companies to establish a LNG-plant in a remote jungle of Bontang. Today this plant is one of the world’s known gas processing facility supplying tones of gas per year to Asia market. The same happens to Arun LNG-plant, in the now troubled Province of Indonesia, Aceh. Far in Caribbean, we know the Atlantic LNG-plant located in the island of Tobago-Trinidad, this country is small as Timor-Leste with very little to no domestic absorption of the gas produced. However, in 1995, a 3 MT per year LNG-plant was built to take the gas from fields located approximately few hundred kilometers from the plant location. All these have been possible because of the governments’ strong position in the negotiation.

Now, the question may arise as to how strong Timor-Leste’s bargaining position to require the companies in bringing the gas from the Greater Sunrise field to Timor-Leste? Three scenarios can be drawn to analyze it:

1. The Development proceeds with the current Arrangement in the Timor Sea Treaty.

Although, Timor-Leste has 90% share of revenues from fields in JPDA, Greater Sunrise has been deemed to lie only 20,1 % in the JPDA, whereas the rest 79,9% is claimed by Australians to fall in Australian water. Consequently, Timor-Leste has very little leverage to push the Companies and Australia to locate the processing plant in Timor-Leste.

Even if the companies decide in favor of Timor-Leste, Australia may impede the decision because more than 80 percent of this field is in their interest. Therefore, the bargaining position of Timor-Leste in this case is very weak.

Tracing back at the process leading-up to the stage we are in now. One could believe that the companies do not seem to be interested in building a LNG-plant in Timor-Leste. Despite the distance from Greater Sunrise to Timor-Leste is shorter therefore the pipeline cost is cheaper than it is to Darwin, none of the oil companies has ever considered Timor-Leste as one of the possible site for landing the pipeline and LNG-plant. This has been going on since 1999, and still going on even after Timor-Leste signed the Treaty, which gives Timor-Leste 90% rights.

Timor-Leste has just started to be considered few weeks ago, when the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste requested the operator of the Greater Sunrise field, Woodside Petroleum, to do feasibility study of bring the gas to Timor-Leste. However, Timor-Leste must be careful to avoid the companies to justify their eventual development option by saying that they have looked at all the three possible options. We expect that this study will not only just for formality for the sake of meeting the public demand but a thorough and genuine study.

2. The Development is to be halted until Permanent Maritime Boundary is settled under UNCLOS Mid-line Principle.

In this case Timor-Leste will have full control over the Greater Sunrise and other fields in the JPDA, and therefore has more power to require and or request the companies to bring the gas to Timor-Leste without Australia’s impedance. This is the case Timor-Leste will have a very strong bargaining position.

3. The Development proceeds with Timor-Leste and Australia agree to place the Greater Sunrise Field into the JPDA. In other word extending the Lateral Boundaries of the present JPDA.

In this case Timor-Leste can still have a full control over the Greater Sunrise and may require the companies to bring the gas to Timor-Leste. The companies should not reject the idea because Timor-Leste has 90% interest in Greater Sunrise by then. Also Timor-Leste could argue to get some downstream benefit of the fields in the area because downstream benefits of the previous fields (Bayu Undan, Elang-Kakatua Kakatua North, Laminaria-Carolina and Bufallo) have all been going to Australia.

2.4 Potential Revenues from Petroleum Development

2.4.1 Under Current Arrangement (The Timor Sea Treaty)

The revenue collection from Timor Sea depends on the applied petroleum agreement and the taxation system. Under the Timor Sea Treaty, the revenues are collected from:

1. Production Sharing Contract (PSC), that is from:

bulletFirst Tranche Petroleum (FTP) shares from Elang-Kakatua and Bayu-Undan (the only two discoveries in JPDA currently in operation). FTP model allows the company to recover its investment (operating costs) as early as possible during the production phase. 
bulletProfit Oil, which is the subsequent petroleum shares after the company recovers its investment.

2. Taxation, that is from:

-         Value added Tax (VAT) on capitals, including the construction of infrastructures which will deplete as soon as the constructions is phasing-out.

-         Income tax  on oil companies and workers 

-         withholding tax on contractors

-         Others

Current government projection of the revenues from the Timor-Sea (Elang Kakatua, and Bayu Undan is set in the diagram below. The projection Now is different from Before due to some technical problems in the development phase of Bayu Undan gas project.  It affects the initial-phase revenues but does not change the amount of revenues that Timor-Leste will collect during the life-span of the project.  According to the projection, Timor-Leste will accrue up to 3.662 Billion US Dollar.

Figure 4 .  Diagram of the estimated revenues projected to be sourced from the Elang- Kakatua field currently on production and Bayu-Undan currently on development. Source : Government Report n the Development Partners Meeting, Dec. 2003

If adding the revenues that potentially come from Greater Sunrise development, which is 18% taxes of upstream activities plus Australian annual payment under the term of Timor Sea Treaty amounted to about US$ 1.142 Billion, then the Total Revenue that Timor-Leste may collect for the next 30 years is approximately 4.803 Billion US Dollar.

2.4.2 Under Permanent Maritime Boundary Settled on Mid-line Principle

There is no projection yet to date on the possible revenues from the development of Timor Sea oil and gas reserves but using the analogous method which is that, with 19 Billion US$ worth of reserve under the current Timor Sea Treaty Timor-Leste will get at least 4.8 billion US$ (25%), then it follows that in the case of maritime boundary is settled under UNCLOS, Timor-Leste will get at least 11.25 Billion US$ over the next 30 years time because the reserve worth is 45 Billion US$.

2.5     Pipelines and LNG-plant from Greater Sunrise to Timor-Leste

2.5.1 Current State of Technology in Pipelines

The statement of the companies and governments that “pipelines across Timor Trough are technically impossible” has lost its foundation and out-dated. Recent advances in technology have made pipelines across extreme deepwater condition possible. The Blue Stream Project (completed in 2002) is an example. This 350 km pipeline project brings the gas from Southern Russia to Ankara (Turkey) across 2150 meters deep Black Sea. Turkey is considered as one of the most active seismicity zone in the world. Earthquakes of more than 6 Richter Scale occur almost every now and than.

Timor Though, for comparison, has rough topography ranging in depth of 1,500 to 3,000 meters, and seismically relatively quiet. So obviously it is possible technically to lay pipelines across the Timor Trough, although, it may start by doing some further bathymetric and geohazards study. In fact, INTEC, one of world leader in deepwater pipeline design, reported that Pipeline to Timor Leste is not only Possible but Cheaper than it is to Darwin. Distance from Greater Sunrise to Timor Leste is about 150 km, but to Darwin is more than 500 km.

2.5.2 LNG- Plant

There are two current tentative development plans (recently become three options) for Greater Sunrise gas processing that, is either process the gas onshore in Darwin (supported by Conoco-Phillips) or offshore on a newly introduced-Floating Liquified Natural Gas (proposed by Shell and Woodside Petroleum). None of the companies has ever considered Timor-Leste as a possible LNG-plant destination (until recently requested by Timor-Leste Prime Minister). It is not clear yet as to why Timor-Leste has been excluded from even only consideration, but few arguable reasons may have become the main engine of this exclusion.

First, may be the fact that Pipeline was deemed impossible to cross the Timor Trough; therefore building a LNG-Plant in Timor-Leste is not viable. But this argument is no longer valid with the current technology in place.

Second, perhaps, the fact that Timor-Leste has very minimum to no infrastructure. This is arguable, because build a LNG-plant on onshore or anywhere constitutes provisions to set its own supporting infrastructures anyway. For instance, provision for power/electricity (infrastructure), a LNG-plant in Darwin has to provide its own electricity. This happens to FLNG as well, with its remoteness location in the sea, no other alternative of power generation but to provide its own. So, in this case  LNG-plant in Timor-Leste is not and shall not be less favorable than FLNG or LNG-plant Darwin in term of infrastructures provisions.  We ought to remember that; the now world-class LNG-Plants of Bontang (Kalimantan) and Arun (Aceh) in Indonesia were all built on a very remote jungle with very limited infrastructures in place. How do they look like now after 20-30 years time? Incredible changes have happened in term of infrastructures and socioeconomic impact.

Third, maybe country risk, as long as this of concern, the major recepy to overcome it, is the close communication and cooperation between all parties involved, including the general community. It is not new that the success of a major project is often determined by the acceptability of the community where the project is located. And this acceptance is more often comes when community realized the benefits of the project itself. The government, also have big role to maintain security and wellbeing of the operation of the projects.

Timor-Leste’s situation can trigger lots of arguments but it can be described as “chicken and egg situation”.  Usually, in country where unemployment rate is high and many poor people, civil unrest may exist and makes the country become very high risk. However, with the big investments that create jobs and improve the infrastructures and public services may form as very essential basis for creating stability on a country. Therefore, assessing a country risk is very subjective. The precedent experiences, however, have shown that wherever the oil and gas is/are corporate/companies will come soon or later anyway, even if it there is risk. Multibillions dollar projects were launched in Sub-Saharan countries in Africa on oil and gas development although rebel fights and civil wars exist. Nigeria and Angola are some of the examples, although internally the two countries were rampaged by the often civil wars and ethnic conflicts, the major oil companies did not give up to grab even more multibillion dollars out of oil and gas.  Aren’t these countries risky?

Timor-Leste, although has not had a proven record of its stability therefore risky, but most of instabilities existed in Timor-Leste were mainly contributed by the colonial powers. The last two successful and peaceful elections can be used as sign and major step toward more peaceful and stable country.  Having multibillion projects that provide direct benefits such as employments, and infrastructures could even enforce the foundation for stability.

2.5.3 Rationale to Bring the Pipelines and LNG-plant of Greater Sunrise Gas to Timor-Leste:

  1. Timor-Leste has lost one opportunity, that was the Bayu Undan gas pipeline and LNG-plant, which was all landed in Darwin despite the distance to Timor-Leste is shorter and therefore cheaper. The benefits that Darwin enjoys now are huge. The country has more than 1.5 billion US$ direct capital investment, over than 700 million US$ in exploration expenditures, plus approximately 1700 direct and indirect jobs. The Northern Territory government can get more taxes from the influx of contractors and subcontractors that operating their business as oilfield suppliers.
  2. Pipeline to Timor-Leste is POSSIBLE and CHEAPER. Recent study by INTEC, a world leader deepwater pipeline lay company, confirmed that pipeline to Timor-Leste is possible and is 2 times cheaper than to Darwin because of its shorter distance.
  3. Timor-Leste is in a desperate need of employments. Estimated 3 Billion US$ direct capital investment and 2000 direct and indirect jobs can be generated in Timor-Leste if pipeline and LNG-plant is established on onshore Timor-Leste, this includes the basic construction jobs which do not require too much qualifications. Benefit of having LNG-plant in Timor-Leste will be numerous. The multiplier effect of this multi billion dollar project will not only lift-up this very badly destroyed economy but can improve the life of the Timorese people.
  4. Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) plant as proposed by Shell and Woodside Petroleum is a new untested technology. Although it is possible, the construction and the maintenance of it will be very costly, compared with the conventional onshore LNG plant. An environmental risk such as leakage of the plant in the sea is also of concern. Moreover, with its remote location in sea may be very vulnerable to maritime terrorist attack as very little or no security control is in place. In addition to that, FLNG has no direct benefits at all to the community, no multiplier effect because of its far location in the sea. Also, because of the very high-tech nature of it, the project will leave no single job to Timorese.
  5. Gas from LNG-plant on onshore Timor-Leste will be closer to the main market (Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea) than it is from FLNG or LNG-plant in Darwin.
  6. As one developing country post-conflict, Timor-Leste may be eligible to Financial accesses, which are not accessible by the developed countries, therefore will be easy to finance the Greater Sunrise project LNG-plant in Timor-Leste.
  7. Another reason to bring the gas in Timor Leste is that gas can be used to generate “clean electricity” and can be cheaper. This is inline with Kyoto Protocol, therefore will get support from industrial countries. Timor Leste is now desperately need energy for electricity as well as domestic household use, which are now, rely heavily on the imported petrol from Indonesia and Australia. Timor-Leste might as well use some of its own resources.


Bally, et al., 1966. Structure, seismic data, and orogenic evolution of Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum  Geology, vol. 14, p. 337-381.

Brisbane Independent Media Centre. NGOs Urge Howard to Play Fair in Boundary Talks with East Timor.

Charlton, T.R., 2002. Petroleum Potential of Timor-Leste. APPEA Journal vol. 32, 20-38

Cross, 2000. The search for oil and gas on East Timor (Timor-Leste). Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain Newsletter, Ferbuary 2000, p. 62-66.

La’o Hamutuk, 2003. Timor Sea Oil and Gas Update. The La’o Hamutuk Bulletin, vol. 4, No. 3-4

Longley, I., et al., 2002. The North West Shelf of Australia: A Woodside perspective, in Keep, M. & Moss, S.J., (Eds), The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 3, Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, 2002, 27-88.

Lorenzo, et al., 1996. Flexural Extension and the Absence of Flexural Uplift – Timor Sea, North West Shelf, Australia. Fall AGU Abstract.

Lorenzo, et al., 1997. Neogene Flexural Reactivation in a Modern Foreland Basin, Timor Sea, N.W. Shelf, Australia. AAPG Abstract.

Mollah, R., 2000. Regional Setting (Timor Sea Area). Robert Mollah was Australian Executive Director in Timor Gap Joint Authority

Norvick, 1979. The tectonic history of the Banda Arcs, Eastern Indonesia: a review. Journal of Geological Society of London, vol. 136, p. 519-527

Oxfam Community Aid Abroad. A Brief History of the Timor Gap.

Price & Audley-Charles,  1987. Tectonic collision processes after plate rupture. Tectonophysics, vol. 140, p. 121-129

Shanmugam & Lash, 1982. Analogous tectonic evolution of the Ordovician foredeeps, southern and central Appalachians. Geology, vol. 10,  p. 562-266

Sunrise Project Update.

Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia (Timor Gap Treaty). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government Publishing Services Canberra.

Timor Sea Treaty (Treaty between Australia and Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste).  Timor Sea Designated Authority-series as per June 2003.

Timor-Sea Revenues Forecast. Government Report on development Partners Meeting, December 2003. Dili, Timor-Leste

Young, et al., 1995. The Elang Oil Discovery Estabilishes New Oil Province in the Eastern Timor Sea (Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation). APEA Journal-1995, p. 44-63.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). \

Unit Conversion Factors.

horizontal rule

[1] Various sources: Price & Audley-Charles,  1987. Tectonic collision processes after plate rupture. Tectonophysics, vol. 140, p. 121-129; Norvick, 1979. The tectonic history of the Banda Arcs, Eastern Indonesia: a review. Journal of Geological Society of London, vol. 136, p. 519-527; and Shanmugam & Lash, 1982. Analogous tectonic evolution of the Ordovician foredeeps, southern and central Appalachians. Geology, vol. 10,  p. 562-266; Lorenzo, et al., 1997. Neogene Flexural Reactivation in a Modern Foreland Basin, Timor Sea, N.W. Shelf, Australia. AAPG Abstract.; Lorenzo, et al., 1996. Flexural Extension and the Absence of Flexural Uplift – Timor Sea, North West Shelf, Australia. Fall AGU Abstract.
[2] Mollah, R., 2000. Regional Setting (Timor Sea Area). Robert Mollah was Australian Executive Director in Timor Gap Joint Authority.
[3] Charlton, 2002. The Petroleum Potential of Onshore Timor-Leste. Proceeding of International Conference on Oil and Gas in Dili, Timor-Leste, 2003.
[4] Cross, 2000. The search for oil and gas on East Timor (Timor-Leste). Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain Newsletter, Ferbuary 2000, p. 62-66.
[5] Young, et al., 1995. The Elang Oil Discovery Estabilishes New Oil Province in the Eastern Timor Sea (Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation). APEA Journal-1995, p. 44-63.
[6] Charlton, 2003. Petroleum Potential of Onshore Timor-Leste. Proceeding of International Conference on Oil and Gas in Dili, Timor-Leste, 2003.
[7] Bally, et al., 1966. Structure, seismic data, and orogenic evolution of Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum  Geology, vol. 14, p. 337-381.
[8] Oxfam Community Aid Abroad. A Brief History of the Timor Gap.
[9] Timor Sea Treaty Act 2003. As at 30th June 2003
[10] Oxfam Community Aid Abroad. The Continuing Significance of the Horizontal Boundaries.
[11] Brisbane Independent Media Centre. NGOs Urge Howard to Play Fair in Boundary Talks with East Timor.

[12] Longley, I., et al., 2002. The North West Shelf of Australia: A Woodside perspective, in Keep, M. & Moss, S.J., (Eds), The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 3, Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, 2002, 27-88. 

[13] One of the recent deepwater pipeline projects is the Blue Stream Project (2001), which is designed to bring gas from Southern Russia to Turkey across 2,500 metres deep water in Black Sea. INTEC was involved in the project. Timor Trough has rough topography ranging from 1,800 to 3,000 metres deep.
[14] IUA is an interim agreement between Timor-Leste and Australia  under which Greater Sunrise field which its  boundary straddles across the two different maritime jurisdictions is set to be exploited and developed as a single entity in one fiscal and tax regime.
[15] La’o Hamutuk, 2003. Timor Sea Oil and Gas Update

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
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