Timor-Leste and Australia sign maritime boundary agreement on Tuesday

5 March 2018

Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Australia are due to sign a maritime border delimitation agreement on Tuesday in New York, which puts the borderline in the position Timor-Leste had always called for, which is at an equal distance from both countries.

The document, the exact details of which are as yet unknown, leaves out the issue of exploration of existing oil resources in the Greater Sunrise field, which has been under negotiation between the East Timorese government and the oil companies involved in the process.

Three possible scenarios were up for discussion: a floating exploration – advocated by the oil companies that have the Greater Sunrise concession: Woodside, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and Osaka Gas – the connection to the pipeline linking existing wells in the area to Darwin or a connection to the south of Timor-Leste.

The decision will determine the revenue sharing model of the resource, with Timor-Leste receiving 70% if the pipeline is directed to Timor and 80% if it goes to Darwin, according to a source familiar with the talks, quoted by Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The final step for the agreement to be concluded was made at the end of August 2017 in Copenhagen, where delegations from the two countries agreed on the “central elements” of the delimitation of maritime borders between them and on the legal status for development of the Greater Sunrise gas well – with estimated reserves of 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. (macauhub)