BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil | search

"* Despite misleading DFAT statements, East Timor also has a priority to establish its own Maritime Boundaries, after a 24 year armed and diplomatic struggle to remove its illegal occupiers. No deal done on their Maritime Boundaries during those years can be accepted as binding today, and the struggle for national sovereignty is not over until the country establishes its national borders on land and sea. ...
* We are worried about a reported offer of an extra $3billion, and the report saying Mari Alkatiri forecasted that with a median line boundary they would get $12billion. These figures are far too low from both sides, as the initial estimates were made on the basis of oil prices of around US$20/barrel. ...

* A reexamination of the value of the Greater Sunrise project which contains nearly 2m BOE, suggests total revenue of at least US$70b in future years, and a "government take" of US$35billion and up
...
* Our view is that anything less than an East Timor share of 90% of "government take" will be unfair, given that under UNCLOS rules we expect East Timor owns 100% of the resource. This means East Timor must gain at least US$30b not just $3b.
"
Rob Wesley-Smith, Co-convenor, Timor Sea Justice Coalition - Darwin



Media Release:
Timor Sea Negotiation Issues Sept 2004


Author:

Rob Wesley-Smith,
Co-convenor, Timor Sea Justice Campaign, (Darwin)

Phone: (08) 8983 2113
Mobile (today only 12 Aug 2004): 0419  807 175
Email: rwesley@ozemail.com.au


Timor Sea Justice Coalition (TSJC) Darwin
Home:
http://www.TimorSeaJustice.org



Tues 21st Sept 2004

A further round of negotiations on Timor Sea issues is heading towards its third day, which may suggest good progress but raises some concerns, as expressed at a colourful solidarity rally of 70 local and interstate activists for Timor Sea Justice outside DFAT yesterday.

 
1.  The right of the Australian government in caretaker mode to engage in lengthy negotiations.
 
2.  Despite misleading DFAT statements (see below), East Timor also has a priority to establish its own Maritime Boundaries, after a 24 year armed and diplomatic struggle to remove its illegal occupiers.
No deal done on their Maritime Boundaries during those years can be accepted as binding today, and the struggle for national sovereignty is not over until the country establishes its national borders on land and sea.
 
3.  As responsible Australian citizens, we have a right to ensure our government acts honourably, especially towards a small vulnerable neighbour and close ally that is East Timor.  As Canberran Deborah Faeyrglenn said, "we won't let an unfair agreement get foisted onto our friends in a pre-election deal".
 
4.  We are worried about a reported offer of an extra $3billion, and the report saying Mari Alkatiri forecasted that with a median line boundary they would get $12billion.  These figures are far too low from both sides, as the initial estimates were made on the basis of oil prices of around US$20/barrel.
 
5.  A reexamination of the value of the Greater Sunrise project which contains nearly 2m BOE, suggests total revenue of at least US$70b in future years, and a "government take" of US$35billion and up.
 
Thus the the offer of approx  $3b by Downer is chickenfeed, and it is hard to see how in election mode Downer will be upping this offer by a factor of many times. Thus it is hard to see an acceptable resolution of this issue prior to the election.  Our view is that anything less than an East Timor share of 90% of "government take" will be unfair, given that under UNCLOS rules we expect East Timor owns 100% of the resource.  This means East Timor must gain at least US$30b not just $3b.
 
6.  There also must be written commitment to resolving the maritime boundaries issues under any agreement that is finally reached.
 
7.  It is reported that Woodside has completed a study on the feasibility of  a gas pipeline from Sunrise to East Timor.  We don't know the result yet, but earlier renowned oil and gas engineer Geoff McKee warned that such a study could be set up to fail unless a transparent and objective methodology was used.  Previous studies have shown a 3000m deep pipe is entirely feasible up to say 26" diameter.  This would bring important ongoing extra benefits of industrialisation and employment to this new nation.



[Rob Wesley-Smith's Notes]
 
Speakers at the rally included:
* Greens Sen Kerry Nettle and candidate Kerry Tucker,
* Dez Wildwood of Back Door Newsletter on East Timor,
* Sisters Jo and Susan from Mary McKillop,
* Dan Nicholson for TSJC Melbourne [
http://www.TimorSeaJustice.org],
* myself from Darwin,
and many other Timor supporters, with musical support from Phil Hudson.
 
from Bloomberg media release this morning:
''The Australian government hopes that these talks will build on the substantial progress made by Downer and Ramos-Horta on Aug. 11,'' said a DFAT spokeswoman.  At that meeting, the ministers agreed to ''pursue a creative approach'' taking into account the importance of revenues for East Timor and Australia's priority of sovereignty over its boundaries", she said.

A Bloomberg update this morning stated that as the boundaries stand, East Timor is forecast to get about $4 billion of revenue from the development of known oil and gas reserves, while a mid-point boundary would give it $12 billion, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said last month.

The first day of talks consisted of
''good initial discussions,'' the Australian and East Timor delegations agreed in an e-mailed statement distributed by DFAT's Julie McDonald. ''The delegations look forward to further productive discussions over the next few days''.

Further info on these Timor Sea Issues see:
Back Door Newsletter on Timor Loro Sa'e:
http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood




Rob Wesley-Smith

Co-convenor, Timor Sea Justice Coalition - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)

0419  807175

-END- Media Release



BD note:
Rob is also Spokesperson, Australians For a Free East Timor - Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)


Receive FREE email Web-updates: email wildwood@pcug.org.au and include the words "Subscribe BACK DOOR" in the message header.
To add items related to Timor Oil send to
BACK DOOR's email: wildwood@pcug.org.au

Petitions, Reports & Position statements are especially welcomed.
Postal address: BACK DOOR PO Box 5 Lyneham ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor     home | timor oil | search
Website: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood Email: wildwood@pcug.org.au