Timor-Leste opens 18 new sites for oil exploration

Timor-Leste opens 18 new sites for oil exploration

From left to right: Chief maritime boundaries negotiator, Xanana Gusmao; Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak; ex-president Jose Ramos Horta; and President of the Council of Ministers, Hermenegildo Augusto Cabral. Pictured at the inaugural Oil and Gas Summit, Dili Convention Centre, 03/10/2019. Image/Tatoli.

DILI, 03 October 2019 (TATOLI) – Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak has used a mining industry summit in Dili to announce 18 new blocks will be released for oil and gas exploration in a public tender.

The president of the National Authority of Petroleum and Minerals (ANPM) Gualdino da Silva, told the inaugural Timor Leste Oil and Gas Summit today, the 18 blocks comprise of seven on the mainland and 11 in Timorese waters.

“We will open [the blocks] for petroleum investors around the entire world…to apply,” Mr Silva said on Thursday (03/10/19).

“They will be able to submit their application to us individually or as the co-partner (joint venture).”

In his speech at the Dili Convention Centre,

President da Silva said Timor authorities would select the tenders delivering best value for the country.

“We will conduct the evaluation by the end of this year, so by next year we hope to celebrate …18 new contracts,” he concluded.

The rock structure of the basins beneath the exploration sites was identified in a seismic study earlier this year, which revealed potentially large petroleum and gas deposits. The summit heard Timor-Leste must work hard to promote the sites to investors.

“We invite experts in the industry from other countries [such as] Australia and England; those who have studied the potential of resources owned by this country – under the sea as well as the land,” Gualdino da Silva said.

The latest Ministry of Finance budget papers show the petroleum sector comprised almost half of the country’s GDP – 43 per cent – as of 2017, while growth in non-oil sectors remains in decline.

The head of the APNM says it’s critical the country can secure new investment.

“People can come and invest here because international companies will be sharing their experiences and knowledge with the world [about] the investments they’ve made with Timor-Leste, [which] is a nation capable of receiving such investment,” he said.

Mr Silva said the summit will be focused tomorrow on negotiations with companies such as ConocoPhillips and TIMOR GAP, as well as Caltech — which has provided goods and services for the Bayu Undan oil fields, Timor’s first petroleum project.

Timor-Leste Oil & Gas Summit 2019 was organised by ANPM, with the support of US firm, IN-VR Oil & Gas.

This international conference is the first of its kind in Timor-Leste, with more than 250 participants from 16 countries taking part.

It’s a significant get-together for professionals from different sectors, promising a chance to network and grow partnerships across the globe.

The summit concludes tomorrow.

First published in Tetum as: Timor-Leste Lansa Konkursu Publiku ba Bloku Foun 18

Related: Estudu Sízmiku Hatudu Fásil Halo Esplorasaun Mina no Gás iha TL

Journalist: Florencio Miranda Ximenes, Zezito Silva 

Editor: Maria Auxiliadora, Robert Baird

Translation: Nelia Borges


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