Timor Sea Gas
Selling East Timor Short:
Timor Sea gas project decision postponed
affet statement Monday 21 January 2002
Timor Lorosae may be fortunate that the Oil companies have not yet determined their favoured options for processing Oil and Gas from the Timor Sea areas (see attached news item).
The two main oil and gas fields under consideration, but not the only ones, are Bayu Undan [mainly Phillips] in the Timor Gap arae south of East Timor; and Greater Sunrise further to the southeast, with Shell and Woodside as major players in a consortium.
Supporters of East Timor must realise that Greater Sunrise is about 7x bigger than Bayu Undan.
Although negotiations by East Timor authorities have been cloaked in a great deal of secrecy, at some point it appears to have been agreed that East Timorís claim on Greater Sunrise would be accepted as 20%.
How could this decision be reached when there has been no declaration of Maritime Boundaries for East Timor?
What study has the East Timor Government and UN done on this matter, and how hard is it prepared to push the boundaries of East Timorís exclusive economic zone? I submit the answer is: very little.
We are not talking chicken feed here. Royalties from Bayu Undan may be USb$3-4. Royalties from each 20% increment of Greater Sunrise may be USb$4. That is US$4,000,000,000 as royalties.
Can East Timor throw this away in ignorance or whyever? The Royalties from Bayu Undan will not last forever. Further, the full development of Bayu Undan at present requires cooperative development with Greater Sunrise.
Maritime Boundaries: these have not been set so as to not upset Indonesia, and Australia. But the ďTimor GapĒ boundary to the south seems to have been accepted as being halfway between the land masses of East Timor and Australia, and East Timor assuaged Australiaís hurt feelings and greed by donating %10 of royalties to Australia.
The Maritime boundary to the east of East Timor should extend as far as legally possibly to the east and southeast, and northeast of course. This determination should be made under international law, with East Timor fighting for its rights, not conceding before the battle plan has been even considered. This is not only for control of rights to the oil and gas of Greater Sunrise, but also for fishing and access rights.
At present East Timor is rushing towards Independence on May 20th, and under such circumstances many will want to finalise various negotiations. Yet this has its dangers. A Constitution has not been determined, nor the Constituent Assembly transformed into a National Parliament. All members lack experience in government. This is fraught with danger.
In Darwin we held our first seminar on Timor Gap issues in 1990, yet there is still much to learn. We also put our time and money into fighting for East Timor rights, often to personal cost. Can the present East Timor government, and any future East Timor government, afford to throwaway a massive/huge potential income source without proper study or legal testing? If they can, whatís going on?
The new East Timor parliament should withhold
endorsement of the present arrangements, which in particular give East
Timor only 20% of Greater Sunrise, until proper study and legal testing
australians for a free east timor, darwin
firstname.lastname@example.org 61 8 89832113 0419 807175
ABC Business News - 18/01/02
The Australian resources company Woodside says despite earlier expectations, it is unlikely a decision on a Timor Sea gas project will be made by the end of this month.
Woodside is working with Shell, Phillips Petroleum and Osaka Gas on a plan to develop the Greater Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea.
The joint venture is considering two plans for the project, one which involves an onshore liquid natural gas facility, and Shellís proposal to build a floating plant 500-kilometres offshore from Darwin.
Before Christmas the company hoped a final choice could be made by the end of January.
But Woodside now says that is not likely, and a decision is not expected until March.
The company says Shellís plan is the favoured option, but the joint venture partners are continuing talks on how to settle on a commercial arrangement which is equitable for the four companies.
BD: TIMOR OIL / Mina iha Timor Gap / O Petróleo do Mar de Timor / Le pétrole de la Mer de Timor - A collection of recent reports, position statements, petitions, articles and news
BD: Constitutional Process / Konsulta iha Konstituisaun - A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news
BD: UN appointed, East Timorese, Second Transitional Government of East Timor / Pemerintahan Transisi Kedua Timor-Timur - A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news