Five companies present proposals for oil exploration in East Timor

20 April 2006

Dili, East Timor, 20 April – Five companies have presented nine proposals for six of the 11 blocs up for tender for oil exploration in the Timor Sea, all of which were opened Thursday in Dili in the presence of the country’s prime minister, Mari Alkatiri.

The results of the tender are due to be announced before May 22 and production sharing contracts signed before June 20.

The companies that put forward proposals, either individually or as part of a consortium, were, Malaysia’s Petronas, Brazil’s Petrobras, Portugal’s Galp Energia, Italy’s ENI, and Reliance Industries of India.

At the ceremony for opening the proposals Alkatiri announced that an international public tender for on-shore oil exploration would be launched this year.

For the current tender, the Timorese state has pocketed, from sign-up fees and for delivery of tender documents, over US$2.4 million.

In a statement the East Timor government added that the country had, “in less than two years,” managed to begin production at its first oil field, “transforming itself into an important oil producer.”

That field, Bayu-Undan, is a joint project with Australia, of which East Timor receives 90 percent of production rights.

The revenues applied to the so-called Oil fund, in American treasury bonds, on April 18 totaled US$549 million.

Current estimates point to the fund totaling some US$5 billion over the next 20 years. (macauhub)