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 Petroleum Projects and Production Sharing Contracts
Projetu sira no Kontratu Fahe Produsaun Petróleu

11 December 2010.  Updated 14 September 2021


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.)

Annual reports from the TSDA are no longer on an official website, but you can get them here for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

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.

Agora, ita labele hetan Relatóriu Anuál sira husi TSDA husi website ofisiál ida, maibé  bele download iha ne'e iha Ingles ba tinan 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 no 2007.

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.

Bidding round being conducted in 2019-2021

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.

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 on 9 July 2020 by online conferencing, 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.

Konkursu Publiku loke iha 2019

Onshore PSCs TL-OT-17-08 and 09 awarded without tender in 2017

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.
   The contracts were celebrated by Timor-Leste's government (also 7 MB video), ANPM, TimorGAP and Timor Resources (also Technical press release). Although Timor-Leste's project proponents hoped for "maximum benefits for Timor," Australian news coverage in NT News and the Financial Review expected Darwin to benefit economically by providing logistical supply, as well as a possible refinery.
   In 2017, Timor-Leste held public consultations on draft regulations for onshore petroleum operations, and La'o Hamutuk made a submission.
    In August 2018, Timor Resources announced the award of a seismic exploration contract to BGP Indonesia. Seismic exploration began in October 2018.
    In September 2019 environmental assessment for drilling started, and drilling was expected to begin in March 2020.  Links to draft EIA and draft EMP from February 2020, which also include appendices on Waste mgmt (A), Rehabilitation (B), Redress (C), Oil spill response (D), Traffic mgmt (E), Noise mgmt (G), Incident reporting (H), Community consultation (I) and Air quality (J). Newer environmental documents for this project have been updated in La'o Hamutuk's environmental registry.
   On 16 January 2020, amendments were issued to the two PSCs, extending their areas by several km into the sea, modifying the decommissioning contract and adding specificity to the Local Content projects. Download addenda to PSC17-08 and PSC17-09 (also English).
   In April 2020, due to Covid-19 and the drop in worldwide oil prices, Timor Resources decided to suspend the project for 4-7 months until the situation changes. Initial drilling will not happen before October, if then. In July, Lusa reported that they hope to start drilling in late 2020 or early 2021.
   After years of deliberation and delays, Decree-Law 18/2020 regulating onshore petroleum operations was officially published in May 2020.
   A revised Environmental Management Plan for area -08/A was approved in December 2020, with appendices covering Waste management, Rehabilitation, Redress, Oil spill response, Traffic management, Inspection schedule, Noise management, Incident reporting, Community consultation and Air quality.
   In January 2021, Timor Resources announced that they plan to drill the first of five wells in Covalima (area -08/A, see map) in July, but they were later delayed. The ANPM granted an environmental license in July, and drilling the first well is scheduled for 21 September.
  ANPM is held public hearings on the environmental license for the Rusa-1 test well near Betano (area -09/C, see map) in August and September in Manufahi and Ainaro, and relevant documents are in La'o Hamutuk's environmental registry. On 13 September, La'o Hamutuk wrote a 7-page submission to this process, with the following main points, as well as a blog: Onshore oil drilling imminent despite serious concerns:

  • The consultant and proponents of this project have no experience with oil drilling, so special caution must be taken.

  • This assessment should include the entire project cycle, including production if significant oil is found.

  • Climate change should be taken more seriously.

  • The analysis of impacts is insufficient and biased, and local communities have not been informed.

  • Decommissioning and restoration plans are incomplete.

  • Economic benefits are exaggerated.

  • This process has several conflicts of interest that make it hard to protect the public interest.

  • Public consultation should include listening to the people, and be well-informed and without intimidation.

  • Timor Resources' corporate culture obstructs public participation.

Suellen Osborne and Mike Bucknill of Timor Resources toast Prime Minister Rui Maria Araujo. 

Locations of proposed wells in Area A, Covalima

Location of proposed Rusa-1 test well in Area C, Ainaro

Map of planned and past seismic exploration in the contract areas.

In November 2016, the Jornal da Republica published a Portuguese-language template for offshore PSCs in the Timor-Leste Exclusive Area.

Contract SO-15-01 awarded to TimorGAP without tender in 2015

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.
  The Chinese company BGP started offshore seismic research the next day and handed the results over to TimorGAP and ANP on 10 March 2016. TimorGAP will pay BGP $11.4 million over the next three years for the study.
   In November 2016, the Jornal da Republica published a Portuguese summary and maps for both the onshore and offshore PSC.  The onshore area was later divided into PSCs TL-OT-17-08 and OT-17-09, described above.
   On 5 July 2017, TimorGAP announced that it had identified "world-class prospectivity" in the offshore block, based on initial analysis of old seismic data.

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.

Chuditch contract TL-SO-19-16 awarded to SundaGas and TimorGAP

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.
  One-third of SundaGas is owned by the British company Baron Oil Plc., which described the project on its website based on Shell's 1998 test well. In April 2020, Baron Oil reinforced its ownership.
  On 9 July 2020, SundaGas VP Colin Murray presented to an online conference about the project, and he made a similar presentation on 25 March 2021.
  In January 2021, citing Covid-19 and problems with data access, SundaGas asked ANPM to extend the time by one year, until December 2022, for them to analyze seismic data and decide whether to drill a test well. Baron Oil updated investors on the project in April, and acquired the remainder of SundaGas's share of Chuditch in June.

Kontratu ba Chuditch TL-SO-19-16 fo ba SundaGas no TimorGAP


Contract signed in 2013 in the Joint Petroleum Development Area

Kontratu ne’ebé asina iha 2013 iha Area Konjunta ba Dezenvolvimentu Petróleu

Contracts signed in 2006 in Timor-Leste's Exclusive Area

Click here for more information about the 2006 bidding round in the TLEA.

  • 06-01 A with Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Relinquished in 2011.

  • 06-02 B with Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Relinquished in 2011.

  • 06-03 C with Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). This area contains the Cova-1 and other test wells. The JV relinquished 25% of this block in 2009. In January 2010, the Cova-1 test well came up dry. Relinquished.

  • 06-04 E with Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). The JV relinquished 25% of this block in 2009 and more in 2012.

  • 06-05 H with Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). The JV relinquished 25% of this block in 2009 and the rest in subsequent years.

  • 06-06 K with Reliance. In 2008, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Oil India Ltd each bought 12.5% of this PSC. Reliance drilled a test well here in December 2010, but did not find commercial quantities of gas or oil and relinquished the area. They have withdrawn completely from Timor-Leste.

Kontratu sira ne’ebé asina iha 2006 iha Area Eskluzivu Timor-Leste

  • 06-01 A ho Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Remata

  • 06-02 B ho Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%).

  • 06-03 C ho Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Area ne’e inklui Cova-1 no posu ba teste perfurasaun sira seluk. Konsorsiu/Joint Venture husik 25% hosi bloku ne’e iha 2009. Iha Janeiru 2010, Cova-1 nia teste perfurasaun la hetan buat ida.

  • 06-04 E ho Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Konsorsiu husik 25% hosi bloku ne’e iha 2009.

  • 06-05 H ho Eni (80%), GALP (10%), Kogas (10%). Konsorsiu husik 25% hosi bloku ne’e iha 2009.

  • 06-06 K ho Reliance. Iha 2008, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd no Oil India Ltd ida-idak sosa 12.5% hosi PSC ida ne’e. Reliance halo teste perfurasaun iha posu ne’e iha Dezembru 2010, maibé la hetan kuantidade komersiál ba gas ka petróleu. Kompañia ne’e sai ona hosi 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.
   A new contract for part of this area was awarded to SundaGas and TimorGAP in October 2019 -- see above.

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:

JPDA 06-101A ho Minza Oil and Gas. (sumáriu). Minza sei fura posu esplorasaun ida iha 2011. Iha 2014, Minza bankrut, no ANPM fo aviso kona-ba PSC ida ne'e kansela iha Janeiru 2016.

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:

The Maritime Boundary Treaty came into effect in August 2019. Existing PSCs were adapted, and TimorGAP was awarded one new contract, as shown in the following maps:

JPDA 06-102 with Petronas (50%), Korea Gas (30%), Samsung (10%) and LG (10%). (summary)
After four dry wells, this area has been relinquished.

JPDA 06-102 ho Petronas (50%), Korea Gas (30%), Samsung (10%) no LG (10%). (sumáriu)
Hafoin posu haat ne’e mamuk, area ne’e husik tiha ona.

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%).
In September 2007 Woodside sold its share to Eni, although it avoided taxes on the deal. This area contains the Kitan field which began production in October 2012 and is estimated to contain 34.6 million barrels of oil.
  In April 2013, Eni (with TimorGap and INPEX) signed PSC 11-106 (above) to explore further in the relinquished parts of this contract area.
  In April 2014, Talisman said that it wanted to sell its share of this project, and in June, Malaysian company Hibiscus Petroleum announced it would purchase Talisman's share of Kitan for $18 million, but Hibiscus cancelled the sale on 1 June 2015. The entire Talisman company, including this 25% share, was acquired by the Spanish company Repsol in May 2015.  Kitan revenues dropped sharply in 2014 to less than one-sixth of their 2013 levels, largely because the field is nearly depleted. At the beginning of September 2015, Eni announced it will terminate its contract with the processing platform ten months early. Kitan stopped production in December 2015, and in 2018 Timor-Leste repaid $63 million in profit oil tax revenues that had been overestimated in the past.
   After the Maritime Boundary Treaty came into force in 2019, this contract was replaced by PSC TL-SO-T-19-10.

JPDA 06-105 (troka parte JPDA 03-01) ho Woodside (40%), INPEX (35%), Talisman Resources (25%).
Iha Setembru 2007 Woodside fan nia asoens ba Eni, maske ida ne’e evita atu selu taxa bainhira halo negósiu. Area ne’e inklui kampu Kitan ne’ebé hahú produsaun iha Outubru 2012 no estimasaun iha barríl mina-rai tokon 34.6.
  Iha Abríl 2013, Eni (ho TimorGAP no INPEX) asina PSC 11-106 atu halo tan esplorasaun iha parte sira ne’ebé husik ona iha area kontratu ida ne’e.
  Iha fulan Abril 2014, Talisman fo sai katak nia hakarak faan ninia parte projetu Kitan, no iha fulan Junu, Hibiscus Petroleum fo sai katak sira sei sosa no selu tokon $18. Ikus liu, Repsol husi Espanha hola Talisman tomak.
  Reseitas husi Kitan tun makaas iha 2014, tanba kampu ida ne'e besik hotu. Kitan hapara produsaun iha fulan Dezembru 2015.
   Hafoin Tratadu Fronteira Maritima tama in vigor iha tinan 2019, kontratu ida ne'e hetan substituisaun ho PSC TL-SO-T-19-10.

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.
   On 30 August 2019, the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Timor-Leste and Australia entered into force. Two days earlier, the PSCs for Bayu-Undan were replaced by ones which recognize that the JPDA no longer exists, and the entire field is now in Timor-Leste's territory. Under the Treaty, 'conditions equivalent' prevail for ConocoPhillips, Santos, Inpex and the other partners. Timor-Leste has published summaries of the new PSCs TL-SO-T 19-12 and TL-SO-T 19-13.
   On 14 October 2019, ConocoPhillips announced that it is selling its entire 57% share in Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG, as well as its shares in Barossa and other fields, to Santos for $1.4 billion. In March 2020, Santos announced that it will on-sell 25% of B-U and DLNG to SK E&S for $390 million. After approval from partners and regulators in both countries, the CP-Santos deal became operational on 28 May 2020, as announced by Santos and ConocoPhillips. After the transactions are complete, partners in Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG joint ventures will be Santos (Australia, 43.4%), SK E&S (Korea, 25%, as of 30 April 2021), Inpex (Japan, 11.4%), Eni (Italy, 11.0%) and JERA/Tokyo Gas (Japan, 9.2%).
   At the end of May 2020, about 19 million barrels equivalent of proved oil and gas reserves remained  in the Bayu-Undan field; about 3% of the amount that has already been extracted and sold.
   On 9 July 2020, Bayu-Undan Development Team Leader Michel Buoniauto presented to an online conference. As later reported by Upstream, he said that Santos is considering drilling three more wells to suck up the last drops from the field.
   Like all companies, Santos (which currently owns more than 2/3 of Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG) is struggling in the Covid economy, and wrote down the value of some of its assets. The company's second quarter 2020 report showed significant drops in Bayu-Undan production (see table at right) and pointed out that the field has higher production costs than other Santos assets.
   Production picked up in the third quarter, as Santos explained: "spot cargo sales which partially offset customers exercising contractual flexibility on LNG cargoes. The two spot cargoes loaded in August and September 2020 were the first to be marketed by Santos on behalf of Darwin LNG since Santos assumed operatorship and were the two largest cargoes ever loaded at DLNG. Evaluation of a further phase of infill drilling in Bayu-Undan continues to be progressed in order to optimise field recovery and extend field life and Darwin LNG production. The planned program consists of an additional three development wells..."
   On 5 January 2021, Santos announced the Final Decision to Invest $235 million to drill three more production wells at Bayu-Undan in mid-2021, which are expected to recover an additional 20 million barrels and extend the life of the field. The additional costs will  be recoverable from revenues which would have gone to Timor-Leste. Following support from Timor-Leste authorities, Santos started drilling the new wells (also Tetum) on 25 May, with better-than-expected results.
   On 3 May 2021, Santos and Eni agreed to look into using the Bayu-Undan field, which may be empty in a year, 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? / Kaptura no rai hela karbonu iha Timor-Leste nia Tasi Okos: Solusaun ba Mudansa Klimátika ka Kolonializmu Karbonu?, this controversial project could allow the companies to develop carbon-intensive gas fields in Australian territory, including Barossa and Evans Shoal, without increasing the company's 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. La'o Hamutuk will continue to collect and publish information about it. Although Santos has great expectations for CCS technology, some shareholders are doubtful. On 13 September, Santos and the ANPM signed an MOU to move ahead with this project.


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%).

  • JPDA 03-12 ho ConocoPhillips, Santos, Inpex, Petroz no Emet (asina iha 2 Abríl 2003 atu troka kontratu ne’ebé hala’o durante okupasaun) hetan alterasaun iha Maiu 2003.

  • JPDA 03-13 ho ConocoPhillips (asina iha 2 Abríl 2003 atu troka kontratu ne’ebé hala’o durante okupasaun) hetan alterasaun iha Maiu 2003.

Greater Sunrise

The partners in the Greater Sunrise joint venture (Woodside (33.4%), Shell (26.6%), ConocoPhillips (30%) and Osaka Gas (10%)) refuse 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.
   In 2018, ConocoPhillips agreed to sell their 30% share to the Government of Timor-Leste for $350 million, and Shell sold their 26.26% share for $300 million. The deal was finalized in April 2019, as extensively described on another page on this site.
   The Sunrise PSCs were replaced by new ones when the JPDA was dissolved by the Maritime Boundary Treaty which came into force on 30 August 2019.
   In July 2020, Woodside devalued its portion of the Sunrise field by $170 million, which one writer saw as foreshadowing the end of the project, which another writer attributed to political changes in Dili.

Greater Sunrise

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.
   Iha fulan Setembru 2018, iha konkordansia katak Governu Timor-Leste sei sosa ConocoPhillips nia partisipasaun 30% iha Konsórsiu atu dezenvolve Greater Sunrise ho osan hamutuk tokon $350, no mos Shell nian 26.3% ba tokon $300.

Map of Greater Sunrise from the 2019 Maritime Boundary Treaty

Other contracts signed in 2003 are no longer in effect.

  • JPDA 03-01 has been replaced by JPDA 06-105.

  • JPDA 03-16 with ConocoPhillips (100%). Terminated in 2006 when ConocoPhillips declined to sign a new contract with the TSDA under the new Petroleum Mining Code.

  • JPDA 03-21 with ConocoPhillips (75%) and Eni (25%). Terminated in 2006 when the joint venture declined to sign a new contract with the TSDA under the new Petroleum Mining Code.

Kontratu seluk ne’ebé asina iha 2003 la vigora ona.

  • JPDA 03-01 troka ona ho JPDA 06-105.

  • JPDA 03-16 ho ConocoPhillips (100%). Termina iha 2006 bainhira ConocoPhillips lakohi atu asina kontratu foin ho TSDA tuir Petroleum Mining Code/Kódigu ba Mineira Petróleu ne’ebé foun.

  • JPDA 03-21 ho ConocoPhillips (75%) no Eni (25%). Termina iha 2006 bainhira konsorsiu lakohi atu asina kontratu foun ho TSDA tuir Petroleum Mining Code/Kódigu ba Mineira Petróleu ne’ebé foun.


The Buffalo oil field sits just west of the JPDA, in territory that became Timor-Leste's with the 2019 Boundary Treaty. 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 30 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.
   When the Treaty came into force on 30 August 2019, Carnarvon explained the new regime which puts Buffalo in Timor-Leste's territory under new PSC TL-SO-19-14.
   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, and they hope to drill the first well in late 2021. Carnarvon hired Petrofac to manage the drilling, as explained in a project update on 15 February, and are 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. They have contracted a drilling rig from Valaris and hope to drill in November or December.


Timor-Leste's oil stolen by Australia: Laminaria-Corallina

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:
 * Laminaria was owned 59.9% by Woodside and 40.1% by Talisman
 * Corallina was owned 66.7% by Woodside and 33.3% by Talisman.

   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.
   Another deal to sell the field was announced (also Tetum) in May 2016, with both Woodside and Talisman selling their holdings to Northern Oil & Gas Australia, a new company created by former WestSide founder Angus Karoll, and the transfer was finalized in February 2017. Because NOGA is not publicly traded, it is much less transparent than companies listed on stock exchanges.
   Australian authorities repeatedly cited NOGA for environmental violations, and ordered NOGA to cease Laminaria operations in July 2019, after which the company went into 'voluntary administration'NOGA went into liquidation in February 2020, and Australia may have to pay $200 million or more in clean-up costs. Australia hired Woodside, the former owner who reaped billions from the field, to provide advice on decommissioning, as analyzed by Callum Foote. In December 2020, the Australian Government announced that it "will now start the process of decommissioning and remediating the fields." By May 2021, it became clearer that Australia will assess oil companies to cover the decommissioning costs. In July, Australia sought a company to decommission the Northern Endeavour FPSO.
   The 2018 Boundary Treaty entered into force on 30 August 2019. It says that after Laminaria-Corallina has no recoverable oil left, it may become part of Timor-Leste's territory. We hope it is in a clean, safe and stable condition by then.
   During its 15 years of production, Laminaria-Corallina generated about $6.8 billion in sales for Woodside and its partners, of which about $2.2 billion was paid to the Australian government. Timor-Leste got nothing. Under the Maritime Boundary Treaty, Timor-Leste's government relinquished its claim to this money, but La'o Hamutuk and others continue to remind Australia that it has a moral obligation to repay it.

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.

The future

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 June 2014, the National Petroleum Authority held public consultations on new regulations and model PSCs for the TLEA and onshore areas, and La'o Hamutuk made a submission.

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, 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.


Maske rezultadu ohin loron la dun fó promesa ida ne’ebé di’ak, Governu nafatin optimistiku.

Iha Junu 2014, ANP halo konsultasaun publiku kona-ba regulasaun foun ba TLEA no modelu Kontratu Fahe Produsaun rua ba TLEA no rai maran, no La'o Hamutuk hakerek submisaun ida.

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)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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