China interested in the East Timor oil sector

16 June 2009

Dili, East Timor, 16 June – East Timor’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Zacarias da Costa, said Monday in Dili that during his visit to China he had discussed the possibility fo Chinese cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

“President Hu Jintao recognised that East Timor was a country rich in oil, gas and natural resources that are of interest to China and East Timor is also interested in a strategic partnership with China,” he noted, adding that business had been the main focus of his week-long visit.

Chinese involvement “may involve construction of a pipeline to East Timor, if it is possible to negotiate with Australia, and establishing a support are in Suai (south),” he told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The minister added that China might also support “refineries and all the necessary facilities for the sector, both on land and at sea.”

The Foreign Affairs Minister noted that the country, “already has a strategic partner, Malaysia’s Petronas, as well as a good support group in South Korea, headed up by Korgaz.”

In 2002, he said, Petrchina had sent a mission to the region to survey and carry out studies on land.

At the time a bilateral agreement was signed and another Chinese business mission to East Timor was due soon, with the aim of discussing involvement in the sector with the Government, said da Costa.

Da Costa also noted the export of over 100 types of Timorese products to China, as a result of a bilateral agreement signed in 2008. (macauhub)