Australia and Timor-Leste agree on border delimitation

16 October 2017

Australia and Timor-Leste (East Timor) agreed on the full text of a draft treaty defining maritime boundaries, the Permanent Court of Arbitration said in a statement released on Sunday in The Hague, Netherlands.

The statement said that this draft treaty delimits the maritime border between the two countries in the Timor Sea, and addresses the legal status of the Greater Sunrise gas field, the establishment of a Special Regime for Greater Sunrise, a path to resource development and resulting revenue sharing.

“The two countries will now continue their internal approval procedures for signing the Treaty,” said the statement issued on Sunday.

The meetings held in The Hague are part of a dialogue for conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia, conducted by a Conciliation Commission under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and overseen by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The document adds that as the two countries have agreed on the delimitation of maritime borders, attention is now focused on the Greater Sunrise field and the Conciliation Commission will remain involved in the process to ensure that a well-informed decision is made.

The main unresolved issue is how the gas from the Greater Sunrise field will be processed, particularly if a pipeline will be built to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory or to the south coast of Timor-Leste, and the decision will affect how revenues will be shared between the two countries.

The Greater Sunrise field contains estimated reserves of 144 billion cubic metres of gas and 226 million barrels of gas condensate, with a total value of US$40 billion. (macauhub)