Timor-Leste and Australia agree on sea border definition

4 September 2017

Timor-Leste and Australia have agreed on the central elements of the definition of maritime borders in the East Timor Sea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration – an intergovernmental body that provides conciliation services to the international community – announced on Friday in Copenhagen.

The agreement reached between the countries works as a package, and as well as border definition also includes the legal status of the Greater Sunrise gas field, establishment of a special regime for that field, a methodology for exploration of existing resources and sharing future income.

The statement issued by the court said the confidential meetings held in Copenhagen involving the two countries were conducted by a Conciliation Commission in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Sea.

Timor-Leste and Australia will continue to meet with the Conciliation Commission in to conclude the agreement in October 2017, while also initiating negotiations with other partners in the Timor Sea, particularly as regards income sharing.

The Greater Sunrise field, which was located in 1974, contains estimated reserves of 5.1 billion cubic feet of gas and is located in the Timor Sea, approximately 150 kilometres southeast of Timor-Leste and 450 kilometres northwest of Darwin, Australia.

Greater Sunrise is operated by Australia’s Woodside, which holds a 33% stake, in addition to ConocoPhillips (30%), Royal Dutch Shell (27%) and Osaka Gas (10%). (macauhub)