Petroleum Projects and Production Sharing Contracts
Petroleum activities both in the Joint Development Area (JPDA) and Exclusive Area (TLEA) are conducted according to Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) signed between the oil companies and the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM), or its predecessor the Timor Sea Designated Authority (TSDA). Under Article 30.1(a)(i) of Timor-Leste's 2005 Petroleum Act and Article 20.1(a) the Interim Petroleum Mining Code for the JPDA, all PSCs signed after that date are public documents. The 2005 legislation also included model PSCs for the TLEA and JPDA, which serve as templates for the PSCs for each specific area.
In 2016, Timor-Leste enacted Decree-Law 32/2016 (also Portuguese) to regulate offshore Petroleum Operations in the TLEA. Decree-Law 18/2020 (Port.) was enacted in 2020 to cover petroleum operations onshore.
With the entry into force of the Australia-Timor-Leste Maritime Boundary Treaty in August 2019, the Joint Petroleum Development Area ceased to exist, although Greater Sunrise will continue to be under a bi-national special regime. New contracts had to be signed for each project. (See map below.)
In addition to the summaries below, the ANPM website includes some information, as well as the following ANPM annual and quarterly reports:
In each of the contracts described below, the first-listed company (in bold) is the operator. If the contract number is a hyperlink, it links to the text of the contract itself.
Atividade petróleu iha Area Konjunta ba Dezenvolvimentu Petróleu (JPDA) no Area Eskluzivu (TLEA) la’o ona tuir Kontratu Fahe Produsaun (PSC) ne’ebé asina entre kompañia mina-rai sira no Autoridade Nasionál Petróleu Minerais (ANPM), ka órgaun ida ne’ebé troka Autoridade Designada ba Tasi Timor (TSDA). Tuir Artigu 30.1(a)(i) Lei Petróleu Timor-Leste iha 2005 (Ingles ka Portuges) no Artigu 20.1(a) Interim Petroleum Mining Code/Kódigu provizóriu ba Mineira Petróleu ba JPDA (Ingles), PSC tomak ne’ebé asina ona hafoin loron asina sai tiha dokumentu públiku. Lejizlasaun 2005 mós inklui modelu PSC (Ingles) ba Area Eskluzivu no JPDA, ne’e serbí nudár modelu ba PSC ba kada area espesífiku.
Aleinde ba sumáriu iha okos, website ANPM nian inklui informasaun balu, no mós Relatóriu anuál no relatóriu trimestral ANPM nian:
Iha kada kontratu ne’ebé hakerek iha okos, kompañia sira ne’ebé iha lista primeiru (ho letra mahar) mak operador. Karik númeru kontratu nian iha hyperlink, ne’e bele liga ba nia testu kontratu rasik.
At the Timor-Leste Oil and Gas Summit in October 2019, the country opened its first public bidding round for new contract areas in 13 years. As shown on the map at right, virtually the entire country, both onshore and in the Timor Sea, is available, except for the north coast and a few areas with existing contracts. Extensive information is available on ANPM's web page. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many countries to extend or postpone bidding rounds for new petroleum exploration, and in July 2020 Timor-Leste extended theirs by one year, with bids due by October 2021. A few weeks before the deadline it was extended for four months more.
On 3 June 2020, the government published Resolution 3/2020 reserving up to 20% of each new contract for TimorGAP.
On 17 June 2020, the Norwegian seismic company TGS announced that it had begun a project with ANPM to combine all available data on offshore Timor-Leste into a single database to "impart confidence in [companies'] license round decision-making processes."
The organizers of the 2019 Summit held another (virtually) in July 2020, including a presentation by ANPM's Mateus da Costa on the bidding round. In December, they published an interview with him. A third (virtual) Summit was held in March 2021.
When the bidder pre-qualification period ended on 14 January 2022, nine companies had been qualified and four were still being reviewed. Bids were opened (FB video) on 5 March, with seven companies bidding for six of the 18 blocks, as follows:
On 12 April, ANPM informed bidders and the public that the announcement would be delayed a week due to Easter and the election. Winners were announced on 22 April (see map at right):
The winning bidders have until 29 June to sign the contracts.
Konkursu Publiku iha 2019-2022
ANPM circulated the above map to potential bidders in 2019; LH added the descriptions of areas currently under contract.
The map below shows the companies who won contracts for in April 2022 in red. Bidders who did not win are shown in black. Click on the map to see it larger.
On 7 April 2017, the ANPM awarded two contracts for onshore oil and gas exploration to a joint venture equally owned by Timor Resources and TimorGAP. Timor Resources, which is part of the Australian Nepean Group of companies, will be the operator for PSC TL-OT-17-08 (Covalima and Bobonaro municipalities, area A on map at right) and PSC TL-OT-17-09 (Manufahi and Ainaro municipalities, Area C), totalling 2,000 square kilometers.
On 1 February 2022, ANPM issued an environmental license for the Rusa-1 test well in Ainaro.
Timor Resources drilled the first test well in Covalima (called Feto Kmaus or Karau-1), in October-November 2021, but the results were discouraging. A gas kick caused oil-contaminated mud to spill over into nearby areas, prompting an emergency response.
They drilled a second Covalima well (Kumbili-1) in January-February. On 15 March, Timor Resources announced that they found "hydrocarbon shows of significance" at Feto Kmaus and, as data evaluation proceeds, intend "to raise additional capital". Energy Voice reported that "there are no firm figures yet, but plenty of hope."
In April, Timor Resources began withdrawing from the area including the Feto Kmaus test well, as they did not plan any further exploration there. They informed the landowner that they are terminating the lease early.
Map of planned and past seismic exploration in the contract areas.
|Onshore Pualaca contract awarded to TimorGAP without tender in 2021|
La'o Hamutuk attended a socialization event for this project on 24 June 2022, and wrote a blog TimorGAP begins exploring Pualaca Block by itself.
|TimorGAP hetan kontratu ba area onshore Pualaca lahó prosesu tenderizasaun iha 2021|
Iha loron 7 Dezembru 2021, ANPM fo PSC TL-OT-21-17 (rezumu) ba TimorGAP laho konkursu públiku. Kontratu ida ne'e sei la'o tinan hitu, no inklui area 1,575 km2 iha munisipiu tolu: Viqueque, Manufahi and Manatuto.
La'o Hamutuk asiste iha eventu sosializasaun ba projetu ida ne'e iha loron 24 Juñu 2022, no hakerek blog TimorGAP Hahú Esplorasaun Mesak iha Bloku Pualaca.
|In November 2016, the Jornal da Republica published a Portuguese-language template for offshore PSCs in the Timor-Leste Exclusive Area.|
SO-15-01: On 22 December 2015, Resolution 44/2015 (Portuguese original) came into force, awarding one block in the Timor-Leste Exclusive offshore area and one onshore block to TimorGAP to conduct 3D seismic studies and sign Production Sharing Contracts by direct award, without a public tender. ANPM announced the offshore award in January 2016 and later published a summary and eventually the text of PSC SO-15-01 on its website.
|Iha fulan Novembru 2016, Jornal da Republika publika modelu ba PSC offshore iha Area Exclusivu TL nian.|
Kontratu ba TimorGAP lahó prosesu tenderizasaun iha 2015
SO-15-01: Iha loron 22 Dezembru 2015, Rezolusaun 44/2015 mai en vigor, fo bloko ida iha TLEA no bloko ida iha rai laran ba TimorGAP ne’ebé bele halo estudu sizmiku no asina Kontratu Fahe Produsaun ho ajudikasaun direta, lahó prosesu tenderizasaun ida ne’ebé nakloke, no ANPM halo anunsiu publiku iha fulan Janeiru, no Jornal da Republika publika sumariu iha Novembru 2016.
In the first new contract signed after the Boundary Treaty came into effect, on 8 November 2019 ANPM awarded a no-tender contract to Singapore-based SundaGas (75%, operator) and TimorGAP (25%) for a 3,571 km2 area in the former Joint Development Area. It is part of former Minza contract area JPDA 06-101A, which includes the Chuditch gas prospect. PSC TL-SO-19-16 (Portuguese)
Kontratu ba Chuditch TL-SO-19-16 fo ba SundaGas no TimorGAP
Kontratu ne’ebé asina iha 2013 iha Area Konjunta ba Dezenvolvimentu Petróleu
Click here for more information about the 2006 bidding round in the TLEA.
Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina iha 2006 iha Area Eskluzivu Timor-Leste
The above map is from 2010. By 2014, all PSCs in the TLEA had been relinquished as unproductive, except for the southern part of S06-04, as shown below:
Contracts signed in 2006 in the Joint Petroleum Development Area
Contracts were signed in 2006 for the green areas on the map; older areas are in yellow. The operator of each area is listed in bold. Click here for more information about the 2006 bidding round in the JPDA.
JPDA 06-101A with Minza Oil and Gas. (summary). Minza drilled an exploration well in 2011 and conducted seismic exploration in 2012. Most of this area has been relinquished. At the end of 2014, Minza announced that the company was in liquidation. ANPM announced the termination of the contract in January 2016.
Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina iha 2006 iha Area Konjunta ba Dezenvolvimentu Petróleu
Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina iha 2006 ba area sira ho kór azúl iha mapa; area sira tuan ho kór kinur. Operador ba kada area lista ho letra mahar:
Contracted and relinquished areas over time
The map above is from 2010. By the start of 2015, many of these contract areas had been completely or partially relinquished as unproductive, except for the areas shown below:
By 2017, the Oilex and Minza contracts were terminated, and TimorGAP had received a new TLEA area and, with Timor Resources, two new onshore areas. Green lines show where offshore seismic exploration has been conducted:
|JPDA 06-103 with Oilex (10%), Videocon (20%), Bharat PetroResources (20%) and Gujarat State Petroleum Company (20%). (summary).|
Pan Pacific Petroleum (15%) and Japan Energy (15%) joined the joint venture in 2009. In January 2011, the ANP agreed to extend the work plan until January 2012. Oilex has drilled two dry wells, and conducted seismic exploration during 2011. At the beginning of 2012 the ANP gave Oilex another year until 15 January 2013, although they will relinquish 25% of the PSC. At the beginning of 2013, ANP extended their contract for another year, with plans to drill a long-delayed third test well in 2013.
On 12 July 2013, Oilex asked the ANP to terminate this contract because they were uncertain about the impacts of the ongoing maritime boundary dispute, as explained by Energy News Bulletin. A month later, Timor-Leste responded by press release. In October, the Prime Minister told local reporters that they would not be allowed to quit their contract, and Oilex summarized the situation on their website.
On 13 May 2015, ANP rejected Oilex's 2013 request to "terminate [the PSC] by mutual agreement and without penalty," telling Oilex that the contract will be terminated but that they owed $17 million in penalties. The companies responded that ANP owes them $56 million in over-expenditure, and informed Australian regulators. The news was reported by Alliance News on 13 and 14 May, Rigzone and Upstream, and the PSC was suspended for two months.
In July 2015, ANP formally notified Oilex that the contract is terminated. Oilex informed regulators, saying that "the parties continue to discuss the financial liability of the contractor." Alliance News reported the developments. Negotiations continued through 2017.
In October 2018, Timor-Leste requested arbitration by the International Chamber of Commerce, as reported by Alliance News and LUSA. Oilex countered in August 2019.
On 7 August 2019, Oilex announced that it had reached a settlement with ANPM to resolve the dispute. Oilex will pay Timor-Leste $800,000 over the next three years, far less than 5% of the amount ANPM had asked for.
|JPDA 06-103 ho Oilex (10%), Videocon (20%), Bharat PetroResources (20%) no Gujarat State Petroleum Company (20%). (sumáriu).|
Pan Pacific Petroleum (15%) no Japan Energy (15%) hamutuk iha konsorsiu iha 2009. Iha Janeiru, ANP konkorda atu hanaruk planu servisu nian to’o Janeiru 2012. Oilex fura ona kampu rua ne’ebé mamuk, no hala’o seismiku esplorasaun nian durante 2011. Iha inísiu 2012 ANP fó tempu seluk tan to’o 15 Janeiru 2013 ba Oilex, maske sira sei husik 25% hosi PSC. Iha inísiu 2013, ANP hanaruk sira nia kontratu ba tinan ida tan, ho planu atu fura posu teste datoluk nian iha 2013 ne’ebé adia kleur ona.
Iha loron 12 Jullu 2013, Oilex husu ba ANP atu termina PSC ida ne'e tanba seiduak iha serteza kona-ba disputa fronteira maritima, hanesan esplika iha Energy News Bulletin. Fulan ida tuir mai, governu RDTL fo resposta ho Komunikade Imprensa (Port.).
Iha loron 15 Julhu 2015, ANP termina Oilex nia PSC.
JPDA 06-104 was awarded to Zetex, which withdrew its bid before signing a contract.
JPDA 06-104 ajudika ba Zetex, ne’ebé rezigna an molok asina kontratu.
JPDA 06-105 (replaced part of JPDA 03-01) with Woodside (40%), INPEX (35%), Talisman Resources (25%).
JPDA 06-105 (troka parte JPDA 03-01) ho Woodside (40%), INPEX (35%), Talisman Resources (25%).
Contracts signed before 2006 in the JPDA
Contracts signed before the 2005 laws went into effect are not legally obligated to be published. La'o Hamutuk and others have repeatedly asked the oil companies and relevant authorities to give permission for them to be made available. These contracts will be replaced by new ones after the 2018 comes into force.
Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina molok 2006 iha JPDA
Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina molok lei 2005 nian vigora, legalmente laiha obrigasaun atu publika sai. La’o Hamutuk no instituisaun balu dala barak husu ba kompañia mina-rai sira no autoridade sira ne’ebé relevante atu fó lisensa hodi nune’e kontratu sira ne’e ema bele asesu.
The partners in the Bayu-Undan joint venture have agreed to publish parts of the contracts, although many paragraphs have been censored. Bayu-Undan is the only currently producing field providing revenue to Timor-Leste. These contracts also include the Elang-Kakatua field which ceased production in 2007. From 2009-2020, partners in Bayu-Undan were ConocoPhillips (57%), Santos (11%), Inpex (11%), Eni (11%), Tokyo Electric(later JERA)/Tokyo Gas (9%).
As Bayu-Undan neared depletion, three more wells were drilled in 2018 to extract as much oil as possible. However, production is still expected to end by 2022.
Parseiru sira iha Konsorsiu Bayu-Undan konkorda atu publika parte hosi kontratu, maske iha parágrafu barak mak hetan sensura. Bayu-Undan mak daudauk ne’e kampu ida de’it ne’ebé fornese reseita ba Timor-Leste. Kontratu sira ne’e mós inklui kampu Elang-Kakatua ne’ebé produsaun remata ona iha 2007. Até tinan 2020, parseiru daudauk iha Bayu-Undan mak ConocoPhillips (57%), Santos (11%), Inpex (11%), Eni (11.0%), Tokyo Electric/Tokyo Gas (9%).
On 3 May 2021, Santos and Eni agreed to look into using the Bayu-Undan field, which may be empty in a year or two, to store carbon dioxide underground in an effort to reduce their contribution to climate change. As described in La'o Hamutuk's blog Carbon Capture and Storage under the Timor Sea: Climate Change Prevention or Carbon Colonialism?, this controversial project could allow the companies to develop carbon-intensive gas fields in Australian territory, including Barossa and Evans Shoal, without increasing the companies' overall carbon footprint. The proposal, which will require approval from Timor-Leste, would allow Santos to delay decommissioning the Bayu-Undan field, will make Timor-Leste responsible for Australia's waste, and is likely, overall, to accelerate the negative impacts of climate change.
In February 2022, the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority held a consultation on Santos' proposed Darwin Pipeline Duplication Project which would enable CO2 to be separated from Barossa gas in Darwin and piped to Bayu-Undan. La'o Hamutuk made a submission, which was reported by Energy Voice and described in a press release. Expert analysis indicates that the project may not reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.
In June 2022, three Japanese companies indicated their interest in joining the project, and a Final Investment Decision is planned for 2023. In July 2022, Santos contracted Worley to prepare a Front End Engineering Design for the CCS project.
Kaptura no rai hela karbonu (CCS) iha Bayu-Undan
Iha loron 3 Maiu 2021, Santos no Eni konkorda atu konsidera atu uza kampu Bayu-Undan, ne'ebé bele mamuk iha tinan ida ka rua, atu rai hela karbonu dióksidu iha rai okos hanesan esforsu atu hamenus sira nia kontribuisaun ba mudansa klimátika. Hanesan esplika iha La'o Hamutuk nia blog Kaptura no rai hela karbonu iha Timor-Leste nia Tasi Okos: Solusaun ba Mudansa Klimátika ka Kolonializmu Karbonu?, projetu ida ne'e bele fó espasu ba kompañia sira atu dezenvolve kampu gas sira iha Australia ne'ebé todan ho karbonu, inklui Barossa no Evans Shoal. Proposta ida ne'e presiza konkordansia husi Timor-Leste, sei fó lisensa ba Santos atu adia desmantlementu projetu Bayu-Undan, fó responsabilidade ba Timor-Leste atu tau matan ba fo'er husi Australia, no bele aselera impaktu negativu sira husi mudansa klimátika.
The original partners in the Greater Sunrise joint venture (Woodside (33.4%), Shell (26.6%), ConocoPhillips (30%) and Osaka Gas (10%)) refused to make any parts of their PSCs public, and we have not been able to obtain them. This includes two PSCs inside the JPDA (JPDA 03-19 Public Information Notice and JPDA 03-20 Public Information Notice) and two other contracts in the area occupied by Australia.
Parseiru sira iha konsorsiu Greater Sunrise (Woodside (33.4%), Shell (26.6%), ConocoPhillips (30%) no Osaka Gas (10%)) rekuza atu halo sira nia parte iha sira nia PSC hodi sai públiku, no ami labele hetan PSC sira ne’e. Ne’e inklui PSC rua ne’ebé iha JPDA nia laran (JPDA 03-19 no JPDA 03-20) no kontratu rua seluk ne’ebé okupa hela hosi Australia.
Map of Greater Sunrise from the 2019 Maritime Boundary Treaty
Other contracts signed in 2003 are no longer in effect.
Kontratu seluk ne’ebé asina iha 2003 la vigora ona.
The Buffalo oil field sits just west of the JPDA, in territory that became Timor-Leste's when the Maritime Boundary Treaty with Australia entered into force in 2019. Discovered in 1996, it had previously been occupied by Australia. Buffalo produced 20 million barrels of oil for BHP from 1999 until it was decommissioned in 2005, and Australia is keeping those revenues. In May 2016, Australia signed a new Buffalo contract with the Carnarvon company, which believes that it can extract about 31 million more barrels with new technology, by drilling smarter and deeper than the earlier wells.
After the Treaty was signed in 2018, Carnarvon reported "that Carnarvon and Timor-Leste are in agreement on achieving first oil as soon as possible. Special legislation is to be enacted to ensure the Buffalo redevelopment will continue under equivalent fiscal terms previously in place with Australia." In May 2018, Carnarvon described the project, after which Carnarvon announced that it had raised investor capital for its first well. In August, Carnarvon updated its information, planning to drill 1-3 wells beginning in Q2 2020. Although it was clear that the field would be in Timor-Leste's sovereign territory before any test wells were drilled, in September 2018 Carnarvon asked Australian regulator NOPSEMA for environmental approval, and NOPSEMA requested changes and then accepted their plan in May 2019. Timor-Leste told Carnarvon that they would not have to comply with Timor-Leste environmental licensing laws, and Carnarvon told their investors that "the approval of the Environmental Plan to drill three wells into the Buffalo field by NOPSEMA will be accepted by the regulator in Timor-Leste."
When the Treaty came into force on 30 August 2019, Carnarvon explained the new regime under PSC TL-SO-19-14 (Port., also English). They hired Angelo Lay, former Commercial Director for ANPM, as their country manager. In Timor-Leste, Decree-Law 26/2019 detailed the transition of Buffalo from Australia to Timor-Leste. In its reports to shareholders in June and September 2020, Carnarvon indicated that the wells would be delayed, due to Covid-19 and the reluctance of any other companies to invest in the field. However, on 14 December 2020, Carnarvon announced that Advance Energy will fund drilling in return for a 25-50% share of the PSC. Advance commissioned a Competent Person Report to validate their investment.
Carnarvon issued a project update on 15 February 2021, and began looking for a drilling company. However, some oil industry experts are skeptical about the project, while others believe it could provide up to $600 million in revenues for Timor-Leste. In May, Carnarvon announced that Petrofac will drill the well, financed with $20 million from Advance. In September, they contracted a drilling rig from Valaris and hoped to drill in November.
After further delays, the rig was mobilized on 22 December, and drilling began on 31 December 2021. The first week went as planned, and the companies issued another update on 14 January. However, the update on 19 January was less promising, leading to reports that the project would be terminated. Five days later, Carnarvon and Advance announced that the project is "uncommercial" which was reported in the trade press. The CEO of Advance resigned a few days later. In October 2022, Carnarvon's 2022 Annual Report recognized that the company had lost $30 million on the now-abandoned Buffalo project.
The Laminaria and Corallina oil fields, just outside the JPDA, are closer to Timor-Leste than to any other country and should belong to Timor-Leste under international legal principles. Since operator Woodside began production in 1999, Laminaria-Corallina has paid more than $2 billion in taxes to the Australian government and not one penny to Dili.
The project spreads over two contract areas:
In April 2014, Talisman said it wanted to sell its share of the Laminaria-Corallina project. In May 2015, the entire Talisman company was acquired by Repsol.
Australia nauk mina-rai Timor-Leste: Laminaria-Corallina
Kampu mina-rai Laminaria-Corallina, sai hosi JPDA, besik liu ba Timor-Leste duke ba nasaun seluk ida no Timor-Leste mak tenke sia na’in tuir prinsipiu legal internasionál. Dezde operador Woodside hahú produsaun iha 1999, Laminaria-Corallina selu liu biliaun $2 iha taxa ba Governu Australia no laiha buat ida ba Timor-Leste.
Although results to date have not been very promising, the Government remains optimistic, as shown by their bidding round, conducted in 2019 after a decade of promises and postponement.
In April 2015, La'o Hamutuk analyzed how much of Timor-Leste's oil and gas wealth is remaining to be exploited, and published Timor-Leste's oil and gas are going fast (also blog and Tetum). In June, we responded (also Tetum) to allegations that our information was unfounded.
This debate continues. On 10 March 2016, La'o Hamutuk explained Santos' report that Bayu-Undan is 93% depleted in Indicators have Consequences.
In June 2017, La'o Hamutuk presented As Bayu-Undan dries up: challenges and opportunities (also PowerPoint and paper). Our 2019 paper After the oil runs dry: Timor-Leste economics and government finances includes additional information about the implications of petroleum dependency.
The Boundary Treaty that took effect in August 2019 opened the way further development of Buffalo, Chuditch, Sunrise and other areas. During first half of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and simultaneous fall in global oil and gas prices, made many companies and investors more cautious about continuing financially marginal projects, such as those in Timor-Leste. The future is uncertain.
In June 2021, Charles Scheiner of La'o Hamutuk wrote Timor-Leste: 2021 economic survey: The end of petroleum income (updated version), and the following month the IMF published an Article IV report on Timor-Leste. Both conclude that it would be unwise to expect significant oil and gas revenues to continue for very long, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Finance in Book 1 of the 2022 State Budget (pages 58-61).
Maske rezultadu ohin loron la dun fó promesa ida ne’ebé di’ak, Governu nafatin optimistiku.
Iha Abril 2015, La'o Hamutuk analiza montante rikusoin mina no gas Timor-Leste nian nafatin iha tasi okos atu esplora iha futuru, no publiku ona Mina-rai no gas Timor-Leste nian besik hotu ho lalais.
Debate ida ne'e kontinua nafatin. Iha fulan Marsu 2016, La'o Hamutuk esplika relatoriu husi Santos neébe hatete katak Bayu-Undan 93% mamuk tiha ona iha Sinál perigu sei iha konsekuénsia.
Iha Junu 2017, La'o Hamutuk aprezenta Bainhira Bayu-Undan sei maran: dezafiu no oportunidade sira (mos PowerPoint no artigu).
The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)