Instability in East Timor delays announcement of winners of oil tender

17 May 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 17 May – Political instability in East Timor is expected to delay the announcement of the winning proposals for oil exploration in the Timor Sea, a lawyer that represents East Timor said

“No date is scheduled for the winners to be announced,” which was initially due to take place on May 22, “but the signing of the contracts will take place on the date scheduled,” June 20, José Miguel Leitão told Portuguese financial daily, Diário Económico.

According to the Portuguese lawyer, “the recent situation has led to some instability and has temporarily affected the processes,” but, “at the moment everything is moving ahead.”

Instability in Timor, in which soldiers have refused to follow orders and has led to the Minister of Development Abel Ximenes to step down, who said that under current circumstances, “only a madman would invest in East Timor.”

A source from Portuguese oil company Galp said that the consortium of which it was a part, with Brazil’s Petrobras and Malaysia’s Petronas, was awaiting a reply to a request for clarification on how the tender is proceeding.

In total, tenders were launched for licenses for 11 blocs in the Timor Sea, covering a total area of 28,776 square kilometers.

Of these 11 blocs, 6 received proposals and the Ministry of Natural Resources received a total of nine proposals. (macauhub)