DILI, 02 April 2020 (TATOLI) – Foreign workers keeping the oil projects in the Timor Sea operating will be exempt from measures under the Emergency Decree, the government has confirmed.
The decree, which came into effect six days ago, bans all foreign citizens arriving in the country, with some exemptions.
The Interim Minister for Economic Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, said it was critical petroleum production carried on unimpeded.
“Timor-Leste petroleum sea [production] continues because… the Emergency Decree declares exemptions for the petroleum sector,” he said yesterday.
The Minister stressed employees who work on the Bayu Undan oil field, for example, can continue to enter Timor-Leste. However, the workers will be required to go directly to the oil platform, 250 km off the south coast, because the government considers it an alternative to isolation.
“Hence, they will not leave the platform [to go] to the land, but they will stay out at sea, thus it does not matter. The government’s declaration of State of Emergency [in that sense] also reflects the oil sector,” he added.
Minister Magalhães said he has spoken to ConocoPhillips about their plan to keep staff safe from Covid-19.
“ConocoPhilips has. . .informed me of their plan to minimise the number of workers in some operational places. But [the measures] will not be an obstacle for the company,” he said.
Read the original Tetum story here: Produsaun Mina iha Tasi Timór Kontinua La’o iha Períodu Estadu Emerjénsia
Journalist: Florencio Miranda Ximenes
Editors: Robert Baird, Julia Chatarina