|Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund / Fundu Petroliferu|
September 2005. Updated 23 February 2023
In October 2004, the Timor-Leste Ministry of Planning and Finance conducted a public consultation on the concept of establishing a Petroleum Fund for Timor-Leste, which would receive revenues from petroleum and manage them in a sustainable way. From January to June 2005, Timor-Leste's government and parliament conducted public consultations and hearings on the Petroleum Fund Act (also Portuguese), which was passed unanimously as Law no. 9/2005 in July 2005. [The law was amended in 2011; see changes in English or Portuguese.]
The Timor-Leste Banking and Payments Authority (BPA) became the Central Bank (BCTL) in 2011. It administers the Petroleum Fund, and signed an Operational Management Agreement with the Ministry of Planning and Finance in July. The BPA published an explanation of how the fund will work in its newsletter the same month. A new Management Agreement was signed in June 2009, which covers the $1 billion for which the management responsibility has been transferred to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). In October 2010, Annex 1 of the Management Agreement was revised when Schroders was given the authority to invest in equities.
The government announced the establishment of the Petroleum Fund on 22 September 2005.
Civil Society elected its representatives to the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council in February 2006, but the PFCC did not become operational until the end of 2006. Its members, chosen according to the Petroleum Fund Act, include Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, NGO representatives Thomas Freitas (Luta Hamutuk) and Maria Dias (Rede Feto), Parliament's nominees Antero Benedito da Silva and Nuno Rodrigues, Presidential appointee Francisco da Costa Monteiro, Aurelio Guterres (nominated by Parliamentary President Lu-Olu), business sector representative Oscar Lima and church representative Reverend Francisco Vasconcelos.
The lead article in La'o Hamutuk's March 2007 Bulletin is about the Petroleum Fund.
Iha Outubru 2004, Ministeriu Planu no Finansas hala'o konsultasaun publiku kona-ba konseitu atu estabelese Fundu Petroleu ida ba Timor-Leste, ne’ebé sei simu rendimentu husi petroleu no jere rendimentu sira ne’e iha dalan ne’ebé sustentavel. Husi Janeiru too Junhu 2005, Governu no Parlamentu Nasional Timor-Leste hala'o konsultasaun no audensia publiku kona-ba Lei Fundo Petroleu (Pt), ne’ebé pasa ho votus tomak iha Julhu 2005.
Autoridade Bankaria no Pagamentu (ABP) Timor-Leste nian ne’ebé mak sei administra Fundu Petroleum, asina Akordu Jestaun Operasional ida (Pt) ho Ministeriu Planu no Finansas iha Julhu. ABP publika sai esplikasuan ida atu oinsa Fundu ne’e sei opera iha ninia Boletim Ekonomiku iha fulan ne’ebé hanesan. Akordu Jestaun foun ida asina ona iha fulan Junhu 2009, ne’ebé kobre biliaun $1 ne’ebé nia responsabilidade ba jestaun nian transfere ba Bank of International Settlements (BIS). Iha fulan Outubru 2010, Anexu 1 iha Akordu Jestaun Operasional hetan alterasaun atu fo knaar ba Schroders atu halo investimentu iha ekidade sira.
Governu anunsia sai estabelesimentu Fundu Petroleu ne’e iha loron 22 fulan Setembru 2005.
Sosiedade Sivil hili ninia reprezentante ba Konselhu Konsultativu Fundu Petroleum iha fulan Fevereiru 2006, maibe KKFP la hala’o nia kna’ar too tinan 2006 nia rohan. Membru sira ne’e, hili tuir Lei Fundu Petroleum nian, inklui eis Primeiru Ministru Mari Alkatiri, reprezentate Sosiedade Sivil Thomas Freitas (Luta Hamutuk), Maria Dias (Rede Feto), Parlamentu Nasional nomeia Antero Bendito no Nuno Rodrigues, Presidente Republika hili Fransisco da Costa Monteiro, Aurelio Guterres (nomeia husi Presidente Parlamento Lu-Olo), reprezentante seitor privadu Oscar Lima no reprezentante husi Igreza mak Reverendu Francisco Vasconcelos.
Artigu prinsipal iha Buletin La’o Hamutuk Marsu 2007 koalia kona-ba Fundu Petroleum
The fund started in September 2005 with an transfer of petroleum royalties which had been collected in preceding years. During 2005 and 2006, no withdrawals were made.
In December 2006, the Bayu-Undan project moved into a higher "profit oil" tax rate because of the profitability of the project, which is why TSDA receipts increased significantly in early 2007. The first withdrawal (transfer to the Government's operating budget) from the fund ($120,000,000) was made on 21 March 2007, and two more withdrawals totaling $140.07 million were made in May and June. However, most of this money was not spent, but is held in banks and investments by the Government (as distinct from the Petroleum Fund). According to the quarterly Balance Sheets from the BPA (available from www.bancocentral.tl/en/balancesheet.asp), government assets held in the Treasury Account of the BPA (not including the Petroleum Fund) increased from $56.1 million at the end of 2006 to $248.0 million at the end of June 2007.
Fundu ne’e komesa ona iha Setembru 2005 ho transferensia rendimentu petroleum nian ne’ebé kolekta ona iha tinan hirak liu ba. Durante 2005 no 2006, laiha osan mak hasai husi Fundu ne’e.
Iha fulan Dezembru tinan 2006, projeitu Bayu-Undan hetan mudansa ba taxa "lukru mina" ne’ebé a'as tebes tamba lukru projeitu ne’e nian, ne’ebé halo TSDA nia receitas aumenta signifikante tebes iha tinan 2007. Transferensia primeiru (transfere ba Governu nia orsamentu servisu) husi fundu ($120,000,000) halo iha loron 21 fulan Marsu 2007, no transferensia rua tan ho montante hamutuk tokon $140.07 ne’ebé halo iha fulan Maiu no Junhu. Maske, osan ida ne’e barak mak la gasta, maibe rai deit iha banku no investe husi Governu (la'os iha Fundu Petroleum). Tuir relatoriu balansu trimestral husi ABP (bele hetan iha www.bancocentral.tl/en/balancesheet.asp), Governu nia aset rai iha konta tezoureira ABP nian (la inkluindu Fundu Petroleum) aumenta husi tokon $56.1 iha tinan 2006 nia rohan ba tokon $248.0 iha Junhu 2007 nia rohan.
During October 2007, the Parliament of Timor-Leste enacted a $117 million transitional budget for the last six months of calendar 2007, including a $40 million transfer from the Petroleum Fund. The Petroleum Fund Act requires an audited estimate of sustainable income and prior consultation with the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council prior to passing a budget, but this was not done. The PFCC wrote a letter to Parliament objecting to their exclusion from the process. The entire budget could have been funded with the Government's Treasury account (which contained $248 million at the start of the six-month period, $119 of which was unspent obligations from previous years), but the authorized $40 million was transferred from the Petroleum Fund on 18 December 2007. At the end of 2007, the BPA held $189 million for the government in its Treasury Account, although this was reduced to $138 million by the end of March 2008.
Timor-Leste has changed its fiscal year to the calendar year; the budget for 2008 estimates a sustainable income of $294 million, and plans to transfer all of it. As Parliament was debating the budget in December 2007, the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council wrote a Public Declaration (Tetum) questioning some of the calculations.
In June and July 2008, the Government proposed and Parliament approved a mid-year Budget Rectification which increases the 2008 budget by 126%, to nearly $788.3 million. Of this, $686.8 million is to come from the Petroleum Fund, a re-estimated sustainable income of $396.1 million (based on higher oil price assumptions), plus another transfer of $290.7 above the sustainable level. Exceeding the ESI was strongly criticized by, among others, civil society, the IMF, the World Bank, Fretilin and the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council. In November 2008, the Timor-Leste Court of Appeals ruled that going above the Estimated Sustainable Income was illegal as it violates the principles and the letter of the Petroleum Fund Act.
No withdrawals were made from the fund during the first six months of 2008. During the third quarter, $140 million was transferred, with another $256 million in the fourth quarter, using up the full amount of the ESI. During the third and fourth quarter, the amount of money in the government's operating accounts held by the BPA increased from $59 million to $258 million, indicating that only about half of the money transferred from the Petroleum Fund was expended by the end of the year. The balance in the Petroleum Fund at the end of 2008 was $4,196,971,733.
At the end of November 2008, the Council of Ministers approved the State Budget for 2009 and Parliament approved it in January 2009. This budget Estimates the Sustainable Income at $407.8 million, and proposes to spend it all plus $181.2 million additional from the Petroleum Fund during 2009. Link to details of how the Ministry of Finance calculated the ESI for 2009, the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council's preliminary comments on the budget (Tetum), and La'o Hamutuk's analysis of prudence and sustainability of the ESI calculation.
|Durante fulan Outubru 2007, Parlamento Nasional Timor-Leste implementa Orsamentu Tranzitoriu ho montante tokon $117 ba fulan ne’en ikus husi kalendariu 2007, inklui tokon $40 ne’ebé transfere husi Fundu Petroleum. Lei Fundu Petroleum, ezizi auditu ida ba Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa nian no konsultasaun ne’ebé hetan konkordansia uluk husi Konselhu Konsultativu Fundu Petroleum (KKFP) molok atu orsamento jeral passa, maibe ida ne’e la halo. KKFP hakerek karta ida ba Parlamento Nasional bazeia ba sira nia esklusaun iha prosesu. Orsamentu tomak hetan fundu ho relatoriu Tezoureiru Governo (ne’ebé iha tokon $248 hahú iha periodu fulan ne’en, tokon $119 ne’ebé la gasta obrigatorio husi tinan uluk nian) maibe autoriza tokon $40 ne’ebé hetan transferensia husi Fundu Petroleum iha 18 Dezembru 2007. Iha tinan 2007 nia rohan, ABP hetan tokon $182 ba Governu iha ABP nia kontas tezoreiro, maske hetan redusaun too tokon $138 iha Marsu 2008 nia rohan.|
Timor Leste troka ona ninia tinan fiskal ba tinan kalendariu nian; Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa ba Orsamentu tinan 2008 mak tokon $294, no iha planu atu transfere hotu osan hirak ne’e. Hanesan Parlamento debate ona orsamentu iha fulan Dezembru 2007, Konselhu Konsultativu Fundu Petroleum nian hakerek Deklarasaun Publiku ida ne’ebé kestiona buat balun husi kalkulasaun ne’e.
Iha fulan Junhu no Julhu 2008, Governo hato'o proposta no Parlamento Nasional aprova Orsamento Rektifikativo ne’ebé hasae pursentu 126 husi total Orsamento Geral 2008, ne’ebé besik tokon $788.3. Hosi ida ne’e, tokon $686.8 mai husi Fundu Petroleum, estimatizasaun fila fali ba Rendimentu Sustentavel hetan tokon $396.1 (bazeia ba asumsaun presu ne’ebé as liu), aumenta ho transferensia seluk, hamutuk tokon $290.7 ne’ebé liu nivel sustentavel nian. Foti osan liu Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa nian hetan kritika makaas husi Sosiedade Sivil, Fundu Monetaria Internasional (FMI), Banku Mundial, Fretilin no Konselhu Konsultativu Fundu Petroleum (KKFP). Iha Novembru 2008, Tribunal Rekursu Timor Leste hasai desizaun katak foti osan liu Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa ne`e ilegal tanba viola prinsipiu no buat ne’ebé hakerek iha Lei Fundu Petroleum.
Laiha prosesu hasai osan husi fundu durante iha fulan ne'en primeiro nian. Durante Julhu too Setembru, tokon $140 maka hetan transferensia, ho tokon $256 tan iha fulan Outubru too Dezembru, uza hotu RSE. Durante trimestral ba dala tolu no dala haat nian, montante osan iha governu nia tezouru operasaun ne’ebé kaer husi ABP aumenta husi tokon $59 ba tokon $258, indika katak iha deit metade husi transferensia husi Fundu Petroleu mak gasta iha tinan ne’e nia rohan. Balansu iha Fundu Petroleum nian iha tinan 2008 iha $4,196,971,733.
Iha fulan Novembru 2008 nia rohan, Konselhu Ministru aprova Orsamentu Geral Estadu 2009 nian no Parlamento Nasional aprova iha fulan Janeiru 2009. Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa (RSE) iha orsamento ida ne’e mak tokon $407.8, no propoin atu gasta hotu hamutuk ho tokon $181.2 aumenta husi Fundu Petroleum nian durante 2009. Liga atu hetan detailhu kona-ba oinsa Ministeriu Finansa halo kalkulasaun ba Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa nian ba tinan 2009, no komentariu preliminaria Konselhu Konsultativu Fundu Petroleum nian ba Orsamentu Geral, no analiza husi La'o Hamutuk kona ba prudensia no sustentabilidade kalkulasaun RSE.
No withdrawals were made during the first quarter of 2009, although $200 million was transferred in the second quarter. The balance at the end of March 2009, reflecting lower deposits and lower return on investments, was $4,750,080,475. Due to sharply reduced income, the balance only increased slightly by the end of June 2009, to 4,901,524,889.
On 25 June 2009, the BPA and Ministry of Finances announced (also Tetum) that the Geneva-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was being given responsibility to manage investment of one billion of the approximately five billion dollars in the Petroleum Fund, and $1 billion was transferred to the BIS. The Ministry of Finance and the BPA have instructed BIS to invest 80% of this billion in U.S. government bonds, while investing 20% in government bonds from other countries and currencies, including Australia, Japan, Euro and Pounds Sterling. Details are described in Annex 1 of the revised Management Agreement, and also discussed in the June 2009 Quarterly Report.
At the end of September 2009, the balance stood at $5,301,568,442, with plans to transfer $207 million during the third and fourth quarters. In early November, the Government changed their thinking, requesting the BPA to transfer a total of $312 million during the fourth quarter, which was done. The $512 million transferred during 2009, exceeds the ESI of $408 million by $104 million. Although this was authorized by the 2009 State Budget, it does not appear to have been necessary in order to fund budgeted programs.
In September 2009, the Minister of Finance received a proposal from "Asian Champ Investment Ltd," (ACI) which attempted to steal $1.2 billion dollars from the Petroleum Fund. Fortunately, the Investment Advisory Board recommended against the proposal. Click here for more information.
In the State Budget for 2010, Parliament approved the Government's plan to withdraw $502 million from the Petroleum Fund. During the Budget debate, La'o Hamutuk expressed concerns that this may be too much. After learning of the Government's plan to exceed the ESI during 2009, La'o Hamutuk wrote a letter to Parliament (also Tetum) on 10 November 2009.
Laiha osan ne’ebé maka hasai husi Fundu Petróleu iha trimestral dahuluk 2009, maske osan tokon $200 transfere ona iha trimestral daruak. Balansu iha fulan Marsu 2009 nia rohan, haleno depositu no retornu tuun iha investimentu, maka $4,750,080,475. Haree bá iha rendementu ida bé tuun ne’e, balansu iha fulan Juñu 2009 sa’e uit'oan de’it, ba $4,901,524,889.
Iha loron 25 Juñu 2009, Banku Sentrál (ABP) no Ministériu Finansa fó sai (iha Ingles mós) katak Banku Pagamentu/Settlement Internasionál (BIS) ne’ebe base Zenebra hetan ona responsabilidade atu jére investimentu osan biliaun $1 husi maiz-menus osan biliaun $5 iha Fundu Petróleu no biliaun ida haruka tiha ona ba sira. Ministériu Finansa no ABP hateten ona ba BIS atu investe 80% husi osan biliaun ida ne’e ba iha titulu governu E.U.A, nomós investe 20% iha titulu governu no moeda husi nasaun sira seluk, hanesan Austrália, Japaun, Euro no Pounds Sterling. Detaillu liu-tan deskreve iha Anexu 1 husi Akordu Jestaun foun no koalia mós iha Relatóriu Trimestral husi fulan Juñu 2009.
Iha Setembru 2009 nia rohan, balansiu iha $5,301,568,442, ho planu atu transfere tokon $207 durante trimestral ba dala tolu ka ba dala hat nian. Iha fulan Novembru foin dadauk, Governu troka sira nia hanoin, husu ba ABP atu transfere montante tomak husi tokon $312 durante trimestral ba dala hat, ne’ebé halo tiha ona. Tokon $512 transfere ona durante 2009, as liu tokon $104 ba Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa ne'ebe mak tokon $408. Maske ida ne’e hetan ona autorizasaun husi Orsamento Jeral Estadu 2009 nian, maibe ida ne’e labele mosu hodi hatudu katak iha nesesariu atu finansia programa iha orsamento nian.
Iha Setembru 2009, Ministra Finansa simu proposta ida husi “Asian Champ Investment Ltd,” (ACI). Kompania ida ne’ebe koko nauk dolar biliaun $1.2 husi Fundu Petroleu. Felizmente, Investment Advisory Board (Konsellu Konsultivu Investimentu/IAB) rekomenda hodi kontra proposta ida ne’e. Hili iha ne'e atu hetan informasaun tan.
Iha proposta Orsamento Estadu 2010 nian, Ministeriu Finansa iha planu atu foti osan tokon $502 husi Fundu Petroleo, maibe La’o Hamutuk hato’o nia preokupasaun katak ida ne’e dala ruma barak liu. Depois estuda planu Governu nian atu foti liu estimatizasaun rendimentu sustentavel nian durante 2009, La'o Hamutuk hakerek karta ida ba Parlamento iha loron 10 fulan Novembru tinan 2009.
At the close of 2009, the balance in the Petroleum Fund was $5,376,625,558. It only increased by $76 million during the quarter, less than half of the smallest previous quarterly increase in the Fund's history. At the end of December, the balance in the Fund was less than it has been at the end of October, the first ever monthly decline, because withdrawals were greater than petroleum revenues. In addition, the Fund's investments lost more than $5 million during the fourth quarter of 2009, due to declining market values. Over the entire year 2009, Fund investments returned only 0.6%, far below the 3% (above inflation) on which the Estimated Sustainable Income formula is based.
During the first three months of 2010, the fund's investments did somewhat better, and the Government withdrew $100 million. At the end of March the balance was $5,787,178,000. A lively discussion has begun on whether and how to diversify the fund's investments, with the Ministry of Finance planning to propose revisions to the Petroleum Fund Law later in the year. During the second quarter, the government withdrew $100 million more, leaving a balance of $6,299,128,786 at mid-year. With $175 million in withdrawals during the third quarter, the balance increased to $6,603,629,000 by the end of September.
On 1 June 2010, the Government asked Parliament to approve a mid-year budget adjustment, withdrawing $811 million from the Fund in 2010, $309 million more than the $502 million ESI withdrawal already approved. La'o Hamutuk's submission urged Parliament to reject this request, as did Committee C's report. However, the Parliamentary plenary approved the withdrawal, and the adjusted budget was promulgated (Port) on 14 July. The Government immediately instructed the BPA to transfer the remaining $611 million for the year to their treasury account. It has been transferred in monthly installments, as follows:
In September, the Investment Advisory Board released a Statement of Investment Beliefs and Principles, including "a mission statement, investment objectives, beliefs and principles which will guide the Board in all its recommendations to fulfil its duties in accordance with the Petroleum Fund Law. The Board's mission "is to provide advice to the Minister of Finance so that the investment of the Petroleum Fund assets will benefit current and future generations of Timor-Leste’s citizens by maximizing the long-term value of the savings from Timor-Leste’s non-renewable resources through the prudent investment of those savings." In addition to discussing risk, return, diversification and markets, the Statement lays the foundation for externally-managed investments in stocks (equities) and bonds.
On 18 October, the Minister of Finance and the Director of the BPA announced the appointment of the British company Schroders Investment Management Ltd. as an external manager for 4% of the Petroleum Fund, about $260 million. Schroders is investing this money in equities (stocks), as described in the revised Management Agreement. The Minister of Finance explained that this is the first investment of the Petroleum Fund in equities, and it exhausts the flexibility under the Petroleum Fund Law.
The Petroleum Fund Law will be revised to enable further diversification, and the Ministry circulated a draft revision (also Portuguese) for public consultation on 23 October. La'o Hamutuk's submission (also Tetum) recommended against changing the investment policy, weakening the sustainable income rule, removing the Banking and Payments Authority as Operational Manager and politicizing the Investment Advisory Board.
Parliament received the proposed revision law at the end of June 2011, and it was passed and promulgated in September.
In December 2010, Timor-Leste's Ministry of Finance collected $32 million in unpaid back taxes from the Bayu-Undan partners, and further collections are expected. These monies also go into the Petroleum Fund. Also in December, a change the timing of transfers from the ANP to the Petroleum Fund resulted in profit oil payments for two months being made during that month.
The fourth quarter of 2010 was historic for the Petroleum Fund. In addition to its largest ever quarterly withdrawal ($436 million), the return on the fund's investments was negative, notwithstanding positive returns from the first two months of Schroeder's equity investments. At the end of 2010, the balance in the Petroleum Fund was $6,904 million.
Iha tinan 2009 nia rohan balansiu iha Fundu Petroleum nian $5,376,625,558. Aumenta deit tokon $76 durante trimestral ikus ne’e, menus liu kompara ho metade husi aumenta iha trimestral sira, molok trimestral ikus ne’e iha istoria Fundu nian.Iha fulan Dezembru nia rohan, balansu iha Fundu menus liu kompara ho balansiu ne’ebé iha ona fulan Outubru nia rohan, primeira vez mensalmente hetan tuun, tamba foti osan boot liu kompara ho rendimentu petroleum nian. Atu hateten katak, investimentu Fundu nian lakon liu tokon $5 durante trimestral ba dala hat iha tinan 2009, hare ba valor merkadu ne’ebé tun. Iha tinan 2009 tomak, retornu investimentu fundu nian iha deit 0.6% dook liu iha 3% nia okos (iha inflasaun nia leten) ba ida ne’ebé formula Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimativa nian bazeia ba.
Durante fulan tolu dahukuk tinan 2010, investimentu Fundu nian la'o diak liu uituan, no Governu foti tokon $100. Iha fulan Marsu nia rohan, balansu iha Fundu mak $5,787,178,000. Diskusaun hahu ona kona-ba bele ka la'e no oinsa atu diversifika investimentu Fundu Petroleu, no Ministeriu Finansas atu proposta revisaun ba Lei Fundu Petroleu iha tempu tuir mai iha tinan ida ne'e nia laran. G overnu hasa'e tokon $175 durante trimestru terseiru, no balansu sa'e ba $6,603,629,000 bainhira fulan Setembru remata.
Iha Junu 2010, governu husu ba Parlamentu atu aprova ajustamentu orsamentu tinan klaran ida, hasai osan tokon $811 husi Fundu iha 2010, liu tokon $309 ba ESI tokon $502 ne’ebe atu hasae ne’e hetan ona aprovasaun. Submisaun La’o Hamutuk nian ezizi ba Parlamentu atu rejeita proposta ida ne’e, hanesan mos relatoriu Komisaun C (Port). Maske nune’e, Plenaria Parlamentu nian aprova atu hasae osan, no orsamentu ajustamentu nian hetan ona promulgasaun (Port) iha 14 Jullu. Governu imediatamente fo instrusaun ba ABP atu halo transferensia ba osan restu ne’ebe transfer iha tinan ida ne’e (tokon $611) ba iha konta tezoreiru nian. ABP sei halo transferensia fulan-fulan, hanesan ne'e:
Iha Setembru, Investment Advisory Board fo sai Deklarasaun ida ba Krensas no Prinsipiu Investimentu nian (Ingles), inklui “deklarasaun ida, objetivu investimentu, krensas no prinsipiu sira ne’ebe sei sai mata dalan ba Board iha sira nia rekomendasaun tomak ba prense sira nia papel tuir Lei Fundu Petroleu. Misaun Board nian “mak atu fo konseillu ba Ministra Finansa hodi nune’e investimentu Ativu Fundu Petroleu nian sei benefisia jerasaun sidadaun Timor-Leste ohin loron no futuru hodi maximiza valor tempu naruk nian husi poupa rekursu naun-renovavel Timor-Leste nian liu husi investimentu ida ne’ebe prudente ba poupansa sira ne’e.” Aleinde diskute risku, retornu, diversifikasaun no merkadu, deklarasaun ne’e halo fundasaun ba externalmente jestaun investimentu iha asoens (ekidade) no obrigasaun.
Iha loron 18 Outubru, Ministra Finansa no Direktor BPA nian anunciu katak sira hili ona kompania Inggris naran Schroders Investment Management Ltd. hanesan jestor essternal ba 4% husi Fundu Petroleu, maizoumenus tokon $260. Schroders atu investe iha ekidade (equities/stocks), tuir revisaun Akordo Jestaun. Ministra Finansas esplika katak ida ne'e primera vez Fundu Petroleum investe iha ekidade, no uza flesibilidade tomak husi Lei Fundu Petroleu agora.
Fundu Petroleu sei hetan revizaun atu fo dalan ba diversifikasaun tan, no Ministeriu Finansas fahe esboso alterasaun (Ingles ka Portugese) ba konsultasaun publiku iha loron 23 Outubru. Sumisaun La'o Hamutuk nian (mos Ingles) rekomenda kontra mudansa iha politika investimentu, hafraku regras rendimentu sustentavel, hasa'e ABP/BPA husi knaar Jestor Operasional, no politizasaun Konsellu Konsultativu Investimentu.
Iha loron 28 Junhu 2011, Governu haruka proposta lei (Ingles ka Portugese), hamutuk ho exposisaun motivos (Ingles ka Portugese) ba Parlamentu Nasional.
Iha Dezembru, Ministeriu Finansa Timor-Leste kolekta tokon $32 husi taxa sira ne’ebe seidauk selu husi parseiru Bayu Undan nian, no hein atu halo koleksaun tan iha futuru, Osan sira ne’e mos ba liu Fundu Petroleu. Mos iha Dezembru, mudansa ba tempu transferensia nian husi ANP ba Fundu Petroleu nian rezulta pagamentu ba profit mina-rai nian ba fulan rua nian ne’ebe halo durante fulan ne’eba.
Kuarter ba dala hat iha 2010 sai istoria ba Fundu Petroleu. Aleinde foti osan boot liu durante kuarter ne’ebe iha (tokon $436), retornu husi investimentu fundu nian sai negative, maske iha rendimentu positive husi investimentu ekidades Schroeders nian iha fulan rua primeiru. Iha fin de 2010, balansiu iha Fundu Petroleu hamutuk tokon $6,904.
During December 2010 and January 2011, Parliament debated the Government's proposed State Budget for 2011, which included $734 million from the Petroleum Fund. Because the Government made imprudently high predictions of oil prices, they claimed that this was within the Estimated Sustainable Income for 2011. However, during the Parliamentary debate, Parliament added $321 million to the budget, mainly to pay for the contractually obligated costs of the heavy oil power plant and electricity grid, which is allocated $447 million of the total $1,306 million budget.
91% of this budget's expenditures will come from the Petroleum Fund:
$ 141 million transferred during 2010 but not spent
$ 734 million imprudent ESI transfer for 2011
$ 321 million above ESI in 2011
$1,196 million total.
No withdrawals were made during the first three months of 2011, although $300 million was transferred in April, $250 million more during the third quarter, and $505 million during the last quarter of the year. At the end of March, the balance in the Petroleum Fund was $7,745 million, increasing to $8,306 million by June and $8,093 million at the end of September and $9,310 million at the end of 2011.
In September 2011, the revision to the Petroleum Fund Law came into force, allowing 50% of the Fund to be invested in equities, 10% to be collateral for loans, and several other risky changes. (Download text of the revision in Portuguese or English.)
As in previous years, a large transfer from the Fund to the State Treasury at the end of 2011 increased the balance in the government's operating account, which exceeded $418 million at the end of 2011. (Click on the graph at right to see it larger.)
On 12 December, the Ministry and the Central Bank also agreed that the Bank can withdraw $9.84 million from the Fund during 2012 for management expenses, as follows:
$0.20 million for Investment Advisory Board costs
$6.49 million for direct external management and custodian fees
fees associated with future external managers' arrangements.
Durante Dezembru 2010 no Janeiru 2011, Parlamentu halo debates ba proposta Orsamentu Estadu 2011, ne’ebe inklui tokon $734 husi Fundu Petroleu. Tamba Governu halo prediksaun as ida ne’ebe la prudente ba presu mina-rai nian, sira hateten katak osan ida ne’e nafatin iha Rendimentu Sustentavel Estimadu ba 2011. Maibe, durante debates Parlamentar nian, Parlamentu aumenta tokon $321 ba orsamentu, barak liu atu selu ba kustu obrigasaun kontratu Planta eletrisidade oleu pezadu no linha transmisaun nian, ne’ebe aloka tokon $447 husi total orsamentu estadu tokon $1,306.
91% husi gastu sira OJE 2011 ne’e sei mai husi Fundu Petroleu:
Tokon $ 141 ne’ebe transfere ona durante 2010 maibe la gasta
Tokon $ 734 mai hus transferensia RSE ne’ebe la prudente ba 2011
Tokon $ 321 liu RSE iha 2011
Tokon $1,196 total
Laiha transferensia husi Fundu Petroleu durante trimestre primeiru iha tinan 2011 (maske tokon $300 transfere ona iha fulan Abril). Iha fulan Marsu nia rohan, balansiu iha Fundu Petroleu hamutuk tokon $7,745, no sa'e ba tokon $9,310 bainhira tinan 2011 remata.
The 2012 State Budget will withdraw $1,495 million from the Fund, more than double the Estimated Sustainable Income of $665 million.
In late December 2011, but effective in January 2012, the Central Bank appointed another external manager, State Street Global Advisors, to manage 4% of the fund which will be invested in international equities (in addition to the 4% equities already managed by Schroders Investment Management Ltd, which had a -4% return during 2011). At the same time, the Ministry redefined the fixed-interest (bond) mandates for the Bank of International Settlements and the RDTL Central Bank to invest in U.S. treasury bonds only. The revised BIS mandate is for 5-10 year bonds and the revised BCTL mandate is 3-5 year bonds, which are longer-term investments than required by the previous mandates. The revised mandates were spelled out in a revision to the MoF-CBTL management agreement signed on 11 April. The mandate was revised again in July, establishing a gradual shift of investment from bonds to equities, to reach 40% equities by June 2014.
In mid-March, the Government announced that 20% of the Fund will be invested in equities by the end of June, further diversifying from 14% equities at the end of March (9% managed by State Street and 5% by Schroeder's).
The balance in the Fund reached $10 billion during March, and was $10.21 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2012. No money was withdrawn from the Fund during the quarter because the half-billion withdrawn during October-December 2011 covered outlays. On 7 May, the Government issued a press release announcing that the Fund balance at the end of April was $10.54 billion. However, the actual balance at the end of April was around $10.28 billion, because the Central Bank obeyed the Finance Ministry's instruction to withdraw $263 million during that month.
La'o Hamutuk's did an analysis which revealed that if current trends continue, the Petroleum Fund could be entirely spent within six years, as shown on the graph at right. Even with more optimistic assumptions, the Fund may be empty before Bayu-Undan production ends in 2024. (Analize ida ne'e iha Tetum, no grafiku iha liman los.) La'o Hamutuk updated deepened this analysis in late 2013; see below.
On 1 June, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão expanded the Fund's Investment Advisory Board by appointing two new members, as allowed by Article 17 of the revised Petroleum Fund Law. Dispatch No. 016/GPM/2012 (original) names Francisco Monteiro (President and Director of TimorGAP, E.P.) and Gualdino da Silva (President of the National Petroleum Authority, I.P.) to join Olgario de Castro (Chairman), Kevin Bailey and Torres Trovik. Sara Lobes Brites (Director of the Treasury) and Abraao da Vasconcelos (head of the Central Bank) are non-voting participants. According to the dispatch, "Both [new] nominees have proven experience in the oil sector and in management and investment."
Francisco da Costa Monteiro, a geology graduate, became President of the new TimorGAP national oil company in September 2011, and represents Timor-Leste on the JPDA bi-national "Joint Commission" since 2008, as well as on the Sunrise Commission. He worked under Alfredo Pires in the office of President Xanana Gusmão, later working as Pires's Executive Advisor in SERN, leading the Government's Sunrise Task Force and serving on the Executive Board of the National Petroleum Authority. Gualdino Carmo da Silva has been President of the regulatory National Petroleum Authority and Executive Director of its predecessor agency TSDA since January 2008. Their appointment to the IAB raises concerns about possible plans to invest Petroleum Fund assets in the Tasi Mane petroleum infrastructure project on the south coast, being run by TimorGAP.
In early July, Australian (also Tetum) and local newspapers published articles with titles like "Talk is cheap on East Timor's financial future." In a secretly recorded conversation, IAB Chairman Olgário de Castro boasts of millions of dollars to share with his friends, saying "I want the money, not the power." La'o Hamutuk's blog Ten billion dollars is a tempting target discusses these revelations, hoping that de Castro can clear his name but pointing out that $10 billion dollars owned by a small, impoverished, new nation with little experience is a tempting target for unscrupulous, greedy people, as nearly happened in the attempted Asian Champ Investment scam in 2009.
La'o Hamutuk's subsequent blog Wading deeper into an oily swamp discusses the ramifications of recent IAB developments. After missing many meetings, Monteiro resigned from the IAB in April 2015.
By the end of September 2012, the balance in the Petroleum Fund had reached $11.054 billion. With the share of equities increasing at 0.8% per month, the Fund had 23% of its money invested in stocks. During 2011, the Fund held shares in hundreds of companies from across the developed world, which are listed in the Ministry of Finance's Annual Report for the Petroleum Fund.
The Petroleum Fund Investment Advisory Board adopted new Operational Regulations on 19 December 2012, at a meeting chaired by ANP President Gualdino da Silva. The regulations include annexes on standards of conduct, confidentiality, travel, statutory declarations and conflicts of interest. TimorGAP President Francisco Monteiro did not attend, having also missed the two previous IAB meetings in September and November.
The last quarter of 2012 was historic for the Petroleum Fund -- the largest ever income (due to late payments and fines from overdue tax payments), the largest ever withdrawal, and the largest balance, $11.8 billion. At year's end, the State Treasury account held more than $800 million, and the Central Bank began exploring ways that it could earn more interest, to minimize the impact of transferring money from the Petroleum Fund but not spending it.
In the proposed 2013 State Budget, the Government asked Parliament to approve transfers totaling $1,198 million out of the Petroleum Fund during 2013, far beyond the $787 million Estimated Sustainable Income for the year. However, Parliament decided that there was no reason not to use the $800 million cash balance in the Treasury Account (largely from unspent transfers from the Petroleum Fund during 2012), and new withdrawals during 2013 will be limited to $787 million, with total expenditures of $1,646 million. The remainder will be filled by non-oil revenues ($146 million), borrowing ($44 million), carrying forward from the Infrastructure and Human Capital Development Funds ($410 million) and from the Treasury cash balance ($261 million). This will be the first time in five years that the Government has obeyed the ESI guideline.
In February 2013, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Timor-Leste (operational manager of the Petroleum Fund) amended their Management Agreement. The revised Annex 1 amends the qualifying instruments, benchmarks and investment mandates, setting a timetable to have 40% of the fund in equities by mid-2014. The revised Annex II specifies the amount the Fund will pay to its managers in 2013, nearly $11 million, including $7.8 million in direct fees to external managers and custodians.
By the end of 2012, the Fund had invested more than $3 billion in equities (stocks), more than a quarter of its total investment. It holds shares in more than 2,000 companies, which are listed in the 2012 Annual Report for the Fund which the Ministry of Finance released in August 2013. The graph at left shows where the companies are based, weighted by the amount Timor-Leste has invested in them. The graphs and table which follow come from that 2012 report, although the more recent 2013 Annual Report has newer information on the $5.3 billion the Fund had invested in about 2,200 equities at the end of 2013.
Although the Fund's equities investments are spread widely, more than 40% of the stocks held are from 111 companies in which the Fund has invested more than $5 million each, for a total of $1.3 billion. The graph at right shows what these companies do. Approximately equal portions are invested in mining/petroleum, medical/pharmaceuticals, banking/financial, information technology/communication, and food/alcohol/tobacco/consumer products. This table shows the 25 companies in which Timor-Leste has the largest investment
Apple Computer Inc
Exxon Mobil Corp
Int'l Business Machines
General Electric Co
Johnson & Johnson
HSCB Holdings Plc
Google Inc - Cl A
JP Morgan Chase & Co
Procter & Gamble Co
Wells Fargo Co
Philip Morris Intern
Oracle Systems Corp
|The 2014 State Budget resumes the practice of withdrawing more than the ESI from the Petroleum Fund. It also reduces the projection of future oil revenues significantly, resulting in an ESI of $632 million (the budget withdraws $903m) and expects Bayu-Undan production to end in 2020, four years earlier than expected.|
For the first time since the Petroleum Fund began operation, Timor-Leste's Government withdrew less than the ESI during 2013, which was estimated at $787 million. Although this amount had been authorized in the 2013 State Budget, the treasury still had a high cash balance as the year's end neared, and the Ministry only withdrew $730 million. Leaving the $57 million in the Fund will increase the ESI every year by $1.7 million for as long as the Fund exists.
On 17 December 2013, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank amended their Operational Management Agreement, and the Bank will be paid up to $12.5 million from the Fund during 2014 for itself and external managers.
At the end of 2013, 36% of the fund was invested in equities, and about 26% of the Fund was in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, making the Fund's value fluctuate with currency exchange rates. This is discussed in the Ministry of Finance's 2013 Annual Report on the Petroleum Fund.
When Parliament enacted the 2014 State Budget, they included an article which said that transfers above the $632 million Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI) would not be allowed unless budget execution had achieved 75% by the end of September. However, by that time only slightly more than 50% had been executed, and the Prime Minister asked Parliament to urgently revise the budget law to allow exceeding ESI whenever execution surpasses 75%. Parliament acceded to his request on 15 October.
On the same day, the Government presented its proposed budget for 2015 to Parliament. The proposal, which was approved by Parliament in December, will withdraw more than double the $638.5 million ESI during 2015, for a total of $1,327.5 million.
Two weeks later, the Central Bank issued its report on the Petroleum Fund for the third quarter of 2014. For the first time in the Fund's history, the balance at the end of the quarter ($16,584 million) was lower than at the start of the quarter ($16,634 million). The declining balance results from falling oil revenues, lower investment returns currency exchange losses (due to the strong US dollar) and transfers to the state budget. Although we hope that the balance will again rise in the future, this quarter's drop may encourage policy-makers to heed La'o Hamutuk's frequent warning that the Petroleum Fund will finance Timor-Leste's budget for only about a decade more before it is entirely spent.
The balance in the Petroleum Fund fell further during the fourth quarter of 2014, and finished the year at $16,539 million. During 2014, the Government withdrew $732 million from the Fund to finance the state budget -- $100 million more than the Estimated Sustainable Income, but well below the $903m authorized by the 2014 State Budget.
See below for more discussion on how much petroleum revenue Timor-Leste can expect to receive.
In March 2015, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank amended Annex 7 of the Management Agreement describing how the investments are to be allocated among bonds and equities. In April, the annual remuneration of the Central Bank for its management expenses was set at $750,000 for the Investment Advisory Board, and other amounts for the Central Bank (0.4% of the Fund's portfolio).
The enacted 2015 State Budget authorizes withdrawals of $1327.5 million from the Petroleum Fund, and this was not changed when the budget was revised in April, notwithstanding the sharp fall in oil prices. La'o Hamutuk wrote to the Prime Minister and to Parliament about this, and published an article explaining that future oil and gas revenues would continue to fall, due to the exhaustion of the oil and gas fields in production. We updated our model on fiscal sustainability in light of falling oil prices, reduced state expenditures, and revised future plans, and the new result is similar to before: if current trends continue, oil and gas revenues will end around 2020 and the Petroleum Fund will be entirely spent 5-8 years later.
TimorGAP President Francisco Monteiro resigned from the IAB in April, as La'o Hamutuk had long recommended..
In September, the Ministry of Finance published the 2014 Annual Report on the Petroleum Fund. Minister Santina Cardoso wrote that " A key milestone was achieved in June 2014 when the equity allocation reached 40 per cent of the Fund." A corrected version was published in November after La'o Hamutuk informed the Ministry of an error in the discussion of the effects of exchange rates.
At the end of 2014, the Petroleum Fund owned stock in 1,981 companies from 14 countries, with a total value of $6.58 billion. The nominal return on the equity investment in 2014 was 5.2%, less than the Ministry's "long-run expectations of about 8%." The Fund had investments worth more than $40 million in the following 14 companies, which total 12% of the value of all the stocks it owned.
|Exxon Mobil Corp||80,321,393||USA||oil & gas|
|Johnson & Johnson||59,999,756||USA||medical|
|Wells Fargo & Co||55,363,924||USA||banking|
|Procter & Gamble Co||49,987,866||USA||consumer|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||49,199,057||USA||banking|
|General Electric Corp||48,886,104||USA||industry|
|Royal Dutch Shell Plc||44,809,513||United Kingdom||oil & gas|
|Chevron Corp||43,596,289||USA||oil & gas|
According to the Third Quarter 2015 report on the Petroleum Fund, the balance at the end of September was the lowest in sixteen months. Between June and September 2015, the Fund's investments lost $450 million in value, and the Government withdrew $194 million to finance its activities during the same period. Quarterly oil and gas revenues to the Fund totalled $218 million -- less than half the average during 2014 and 63% lower than 2013. Although this is partly because world oil prices are low, it is also because Timor-Leste's producing oil and gas fields are more than three-quarters used up. They produced 27% fewer barrels during the first eight months of 2015 than during the same period in 2012, the peak year of production. The Kitan field is already shutting down, and extraction from Bayu-Undan will cease in 2021.
On 29 October, Timor-Leste's government proposed a $1.562 billion State Budget for 2016, the same size of the previous year. Parliament approved it in late December and it was promulgated in mid-January after being vetoed by President Taur Matan Ruak. The total amount and the sources of revenue were not changed during the enactment process. The Petroleum Fund still finances more than 80% of state spending, and a larger portion will come from borrowing than in past years. Timor-Leste's non-oil ("domestic") revenues remain small, and not growing enough to fill the gap left by falling oil revenues. For 2016, the Government expects domestic revenues (taxes and user fees) to increase by only 0.6%.
Although the Petroleum Fund may have passed its peak, the 2016 State Budget continues to withdraw far more than the Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI). The 2015 budget took $689 million above the "3%" ESI (executed withdrawals by year-end were $50 million less), but in 2016 Timor-Leste will withdraw $739m more than the $555m ESI. That would be more than 7% of the nation's petroleum wealth, the highest percentage ever. The 2016 budget expects even higher withdrawals in future years -- 8% in 2017, 11% in 2018 and 11% in 2019.
When more money is taken out of the Petroleum Fund than the Government is spending, the cash balance in the treasury rises, as happens at the end of every fiscal year. During the first part of years prior to 2015, little was transferred until the balance is drawn down.
Beginning in 2012, the percentage of the Petroleum Fund invested in stocks (equities) gradually increased to 40% in mid-2014. The blue bars in the graph below shows the net return each quarter, including interest and changes in asset value that will not become real until the stock is sold. The white bars show how the value of the Fund's investment in non-USD currencies changes with the exchange rate.. Month-by-month changes are more volatile.
The Petroleum Fund Balance at the start of 2016 was $16.22 billion, its lowest value since April 2014 and $368 million less than at the start of 2015. During the previous year, oil revenue was down, the international stock market lost value, and the U.S. dollar rose in value compared with other currencies -- all of which caused the Fund to lose value. In apparent defiance of this trend, the Government took $640 million out of the Fund during last quarter of 2015, including $350 million in December alone -- the highest quarterly and monthly withdrawals in the Fund's 10-year history.
If projected levels of spending are carried out, even if the equities market and foreign exchange rates improve, the Fund could be drawn down to $10 billion by 2020 and to zero by 2026.
March 2016 was the best and worst of times for Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund. Due to the rising international equities market and fall in the value of the U.S. dollar, the fund's investments increased in value by $509 million, the highest monthly gain ever and almost as much as they had lost in the preceding seven months.
On the other hand, oil and gas revenues deposited into the fund were only $34 million, the smallest amount since 2007. Although world oil prices rose slightly in March, JPDA production in February was lower than in any month since a maintenance shutdown in 2014. In addition, $14.3 million was deducted from payments from the companies to Timor-Leste in March as a partial refund of "overdue" taxes they had paid under protest in 2012.
A February 2016 settlement of dozens of tax disputes between ConocoPhillips and Timor-Leste's government obliges the country to repay more than $100 million to the company. The companies are subtracting this money from payments to Timor-Leste; a total of $152 million was taken out from February through December 2016, and deductions will continue in 2017.
In June, the Council of Ministers approved a proposal to amend the 2016 State Budget to withdraw $391 million more from the Petroleum Fund, which would be transferred into the Infrastructure Fund to pay for Tibar Port, the Suai Supply Base, roads, electricity, back debts and other projects. La'o Hamutuk wrote to Parliament as their debate began on 11 July, suggesting that it was ill-advised to withdraw triple the ESI in a single year, especially for poorly-planned projects with dubious return. After two days of discussion, Parliament passed the budget unanimously and sent it the President. La'o Hamutuk wrote to encourage him to veto it, but, as he wrote to Parliament, he felt he had not choice but to promulgate it, which he did on 8 August.
When the 2017 State Budget was proposed in October, anticipated transfers from the Petroleum Fund for 2017-2018 dropped slightly, as so much is being transferred in 2016. However, transfers in 2019-2021 will be even higher than previously expected.
On 27 October, the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council hosted an all-day conference on the Petroleum Fund, including presentations by TimorGAP, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM).
La'o Hamutuk's submission to Parliament on the proposed 2017 budget urged the Ministry of Finance to take a more prudent approach to projecting future investment returns, as these will provide the bulk of Petroleum Fund income now that Kitan and Bayu-Undan are mostly depleted.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, the U.S. dollar rose against other currencies, causing the Petroleum Fund balance to lose about $243 million. Investment values fell in October and November, but recovered most of that loss in December.
At the end of 2016, the balance in the Petroleum Fund stood at $15.84 billion. It had fallen $760 million since the previous quarter, $373 million since the start of the year, and was $1.29 billion lower than its peak value in May 2015.
Withdrawals during 2016 totaled $1.24 billion, nearly as high as in 2015 but less than was authorized in the original 2016 budget, and far less than the $1.68 billion approved in the 2016 Rectified Budget.
During 2016, the Fund's investments returned $623 million (a nominal return of 4.0%, below the assumed level), and oil revenues deposited into the Fund totaled $224 million. The oil companies subtracted more than $200 million from revenues which would have been paid to Timor-Leste, as partial payment of a settlement for over-collected taxes in 2012.
Iha fulan Juñu, Konsellu Ministru aprova ona proposta lei atu halo alterasaun ba Lei Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2016. Sira proposta atu aumenta transferensia husi Fundu Petrolifeiru durante 2016 ba tokon $391, orsamentu hirak ne’e hotu aloka ba Fundu Infrastrutura and selu ba Portu Tibar, Suai Supply Base, estrada, eletrisidade, deve tuan no projetu seluk tan. La'o Hamutuk hakerek ba Parlamentu bainhira sira hahu debate kona-ba proposta ida ne'e iha loron 11 Jullu, atu rekomenda kontra levantamentu ho montante dala tolu RSE durante tinan ida, liu liu ba projeitu ho planu fraku no benefisiu seidauk klaru. Hafoin debate loron rua, Parlamentu aprova Orsamentu Retifikativu ho unanimadade no haruka ba Prezidente Republika. La'o Hamutuk hakerek karta ba nia, husu atu veto lei ida ne'e, maibe Prezidente promulga Orsamentu Retifikativu iha loron 8 Agostu, ho mensajen ba Parlamentu.
Orsamentu Estadu 2017 antisipa atu gastu barak liu husi Fundu Petroleu.
Iha loron 27 Outubru, Konsellu Konsultativu Fundu Petrolíferu hala’o konferénsia loron ida kona-ba Fundu Petrolíferu. La’o Hamutuk publika ona aprezentasaun sira hosi TimorGAP, Ministériu Finansa, Banku Sentrál no ANPM.
Since 2015, Timor-Leste's income from all sources (oil, investments and trade) have been less than the amount of money the country sends overseas. In the long term, this is unsustainable.
In July 2017, the Ministry of Finance published the Annual Report of the Petroleum Fund for 2016. As in past years, the report lists the 1889 companies in which the Fund holds $6.6 billion worth of stocks (equities), as well as $9.1 billion in bonds from two dozen countries.
The Fund owns more than $40 million worth of stock in each of the following 21 companies, worth a total of more than a billion dollars.
|Exxon Mobil Corp||USA||$76,321,058||petroleum|
|Johnson & Johnson||USA|
|JP Morgan Chase & Co||USA||$62,146,895||banking|
|General Electric Co||USA||$52,663,887||manufacturing|
|Wells Fargo & Co||USA||$50,920,462||banking|
|Alphabet Inc-Cl C||USA||$47,475,342||tech|
|Alphabet Inc-Cl A||USA||$46,372,233||tech|
|Procter & Gamble Co||USA||$45,223,079||consumer|
|Bank Of America Corp||USA||$45,213,887||banking|
|Royal Dutch Shell Plc||UK||$41,439,603||petroleum|
Companies in green were not among the top 21 in prior years. Others who were, but have smaller investments now, are IBM, HSBC and Novartis.
The 2016 Annual Report says that no over-assessed petroleum taxes were refunded to the oil companies that year. This is wrong, and La'o Hamutuk calculates that Timor-Leste repaid $219 million during 2016. However, the report shows the $25 million which was repaid to Woodside during 2015.
In September, the new government proposed a budget rectification which would have increased the authorized withdrawal from the Petroleum Fund during 2017 from $1.079 billion in the enacted budget to $1.302 billion. However, Parliament did not enact this rectification, and the Government transferred the entire authorized $1.079 billion by the end of 2017, finishing the year with $288 million in the state treasury (up from $212 million at the start of 2017).
At the end of 2017, the balance in the Petroleum Fund was $16.8 billion, nearly a billion more than one year earlier. Most of this increase was from unrealized gains in stock prices ($983 million) and from the falling U.S. dollar causing the dollar value of investments in other currencies to increase ($312 million). Actual revenues from petroleum ($422 million) and investments ($316 million) covered only about 2/3 of the amount transferred to the state budget during 2017.
At the end of January, the President dissolved Parliament and called for new elections, which will be on 12 May. The 2018 State Budget is unlikely to be enacted before June or July. Although the Budget and Financial Management Law allows spending to continue according to 1/12 of the 2017 budget each month, it makes no provision for additional transfers from the Petroleum Fund.
According to La'o Hamutuk's estimates, the balance in the state treasury, combined with expected non-petroleum revenues, can support government operations for only about four months. After April, the state will have no money to cover its operations until the new budget is enacted -- unless Parliament enacts a law authorizing a transfer from the Petroleum Fund during 2018 (it is unclear if a dissolved Parliament can do that). The Central Bank is not allowed to lend money to the Government, and the imminent cash-flow crisis (the shortfall by mid-year will be $150-$300 million) is an ominous precursor of what will happen when the Petroleum Fund is exhausted, which could be within 10-15 years.
Although $70 million was transferred from the Fund in May, the cash flow problem became critical in July. La'o Hamutuk analyzed this issue and wrote a submission to Parliament about an over-broad legislative effort to address the emergency, and we discussed our concerns with Parliament Committee C in a 90-minute meeting.
The law that was passed on 20 July was narrower, authorizing $140 million to be transferred during July and August, and La'o Hamutuk expressed our support. The President of the Republic asked the Court of Appeal for advice, and the Court ruled that the law did not violate the Constitution, although Judge Maria Natercia Gusmão wrote that it is unnecessary and illegal. The President promulgated it as Law No. 1/2018 of 10 August, and the transfer was done a few days later.
The 2018 State Budget was enacted and promulgated on 27 September, and the government transferred another $220 million from the Petroleum Fund in October. During October, the balance in the Petroleum Fund dropped by $680 million, the largest one-month drop in its history.
The $2.13 billion 2019 Budget, the largest ever in Timor-Leste history, was passed by Parliament in December, and then vetoed by the President. If enacted, it would have withdrawn $1.85 billion from the Petroleum Fund.
In December, the Central Bank withdrew $63.3 million from the Petroleum Fund to refund taxes to the Kitan joint venture which had been over-collected several years earlier. This was done under article 10 of the Petroleum Fund Law, outside of the State Budget.
Also in December, the Government transferred $332.5 million from the Fund to the Treasury. This, the second largest monthly transfer ever, increased the end-of-year Treasury balance to $398 million, the highest since 2014, perhaps in anticipation of delays in promulgating the 2019 budget.
During the fourth quarter of 2018, stock markets worldwide dropped drastically, which impacted the Petroleum Fund. The value of its investments fell by $779 million. Although the Fund's investments did very well during 2017, the average return during the two years 2017-2018 was 3.5%, about the same as the average during 2012-2016.
Combined with the withdrawals discussed above, the market drop lowered the balance in the Fund at year-end to $15.8 billion, a billion dollars less than it had been at the beginning of 2018 and its lowest value in nearly five years.
Iha Janeiru nia rohan, Prezidente disolve Parlamentu no husu ba eleisaun foun ne’ebé sei hala’o iha loron 12 Maiu. Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2018 la bele hetan aprovasaun antes Juñu ka Jullu. Maske Lei Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira fó dalan atu kontinua gasta ho 1/12 husi orsamentu 2017 ba iha kada fulan, lei ne’e la fó provizaun ba transferénsia adisionál husi Fundu Petrolíferu.
Tuir estimasaun La’o Hamutuk nian, balansu iha tezouru estadu, hamutuk ho espektasaun reseita naun-petrolifeiru ne’ebé atu hetan, bele apoia operasaun Governu ba de’it fulan haat. Hafoin Abril, estadu sei la iha osan atu kobre ba nia operasionál too bainhira orsamentu foun hetan aprovasaun -- se kuandu Parlamentu aprova lei autorizasaun ba transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu durante 2018 (seidauk klaru se Parlamentu disolve ona bele halo ida ne’e). Banku Sentral sei la autoriza atu fó empresta osan ba Governu, no krize fluxu osan sei akontese derrepente (sei monu iha tinan klaran to'o tokon $150-$300) ida ne’e mak ezemplu perigoso ida kona ba saida mak sei akontese bainhira Fundu Petrolíferu ne’e maran, ne’ebé bele akontese iha tinan 10-15 nia laran.
Maske tokon $70 transfere ona husi Fundu iha fulan Maiu, problema fluxu osan ne’e sai krítiku liu iha Jullu. La’o Hamutuk analiza asuntu ne’e no hakerek submisaun ida ba Parlamentu kona ba esforsu lejislativu ne’ebé boot liu atu responde ba emerjénsia, no ami diskute kona ba ami nia preokupasaun sira ba Komisaun C, Parlamentu Nasionál iha minutu 90.
Lei ne’e aprova ona iha 20 Jullu ho maneira ne’ebé limitadu tebes, autoriza tokon $140 atu transfere durante Jullu no Agostu, no La'o Hamutuk espresa ami nia apoiu. Prezidente Repúblika husu ba tribunal rekursu atu fó konsellu, no tribunal deside katak lei ne’e la viola konstituisaun, maske Juis Maria Natercia Gusmão hakerek katak lei ne’e la nesesáriu no ilegál. Prezidente promulga Lei Nu. 1/2018 iha loron 10 Agostu, no halo ona transferénsia iha loron balun liu ba.
Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2018 aprova no promulga iha 27 Setembru, no Governu transfere tan tokon $220 seluk husi Fundu Petrolíferu iha Outubru. Durante Outubru, balansu iha Fundu Petrolíferu tun ba tokon $680, ne’ebé tuun maka’as iha fulan ida iha nia istória.
Orsamentu 2019 biliaun $2.13, ne’ebé boot liu iha istória Timor-Leste, hetan aprovasaun husi Parlamentu iha Dezembru, no hafoin Prezidente veta tiha. Se promulga ona, sei hasai husi Fundu Petrolíferu biliaun $1.85.
Iha Dezembru, Banku Sentral foti osan tokon $63.3 husi Fundu Petrolíferu hodi selu fali ba taxa Kitan nian iha konsórsiu ne’ebé remata tiha ona iha tinan hirak antes ne’e. Ida ne’e halo tuir artigu 10 husi Lei Fundu Petrolíferu, la tama ba iha Orsamentu Estadu.
Nune’e mós iha Dezembru, Governu transfere tokon $332.5 husi Fundu ba Tezouru. Ida ne’e boot liu iha fulan ida (ho esepsaun ida) kompara ho transferénsia sira durante ne’e, aumenta saldu iha Tezouru iha tinan rohan ba tokon $398, ne’ebé boot liu dezde 2014. Karik antisipa atrazu atu promulga OJE 2019.
Durante trimestral ba dahaat husi 2018, asoens iha merkadu mundiál monu maka’as, ne’ebé fó impaktu mós ba Fundu Petrolíferu. Valor investimentu monu ba tokon $779. Maske nune’e, investimentu Fundu hala’o ho di’ak tebes iha 2017, retornu médiu durante tinan rua 2017-2018 mak 3.5%, atu hanesan mós ho médiu durante 2012-2016.
Hanesan mós ho levantamentu ne’ebé diskute iha leten, no merkadu mundiál monu, hamenus balansu iha Fundu iha tinan nia rohan ba iha biliaun $15.8, menus husi dolar biliaun ida kompara ho inísiu tinan 2018 no valór ki’ik liu kompara iha tinan lima ikus nia laran.
Parliament revised the vetoed 2019 State budget at the end of January, removing the $650 million allocated to buy participation in the Greater Sunrise Joint venture, which lowered planned withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund during 2019 to $1.2 billion, which is still more than double the Estimated Sustainable Income of $529 million. The President promulgated it on 7 February.
Stock markets recovered during the first quarter of 2019, restoring more than $800 million that they had lost in value in the last four months of 2018. At the end of March, the Petroleum Fund was valued at $16.98 billion, more than it had been in June 2018 but slightly below the $17.16 billion peak reached in mid-2015 and January and September 2018. However, no transfers to the state budget were made in the first quarter of 2019.
Debate continued as to whether recent amendments to the Petroleum Activities Law allow money to be taken from the Petroleum Fund to buy into the Sunrise project. In January, 23 Members of Parliament filed a 180-paragraph petition (Portuguese original) asking the Court of Appeals to rule that the amendments are illegal and unconstitutional, but the court declined to do so.
On 15 February the Prime Minister's office declared that paying for Sunrise participation from the Petroleum Fund would proceed until the court stopped it. The investment policy (original Portuguese) was approved by the Council of Ministers on 20 February and presented to Parliament the next day. Watch the presentation and debate on YouTube (part 2), or see summaries from RTTL-TV and GMN-TV. The new policy allows 5% of the Petroleum Fund to be invested in TimorGAP, while reducing the percentage of the Fund in stocks from 40% to 35%. TimorGAP must use the investment to exploit known oil and gas fields which are commercially competitive and will contribute to development and diversification of the national economy. On 27 February, the Jornal da Republica published Government Resolution 10/2019 on the Rules and Criteria for Selection, Management and Evaluation of the new investment class, followed two days later by Ministerial Diploma 4/2019 on the same subject.
More specifics are in on pages 6-7 (Mandate 8) of the 11 March revision to Annex I of the Management Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. The $650 million "other eligible investment" in TimorGAP is considered a "Private Debt Instrument for Petroleum Operations." It will be repaid, with an annual interest rate of 4.5%, after 18 years. However, nothing will be repaid during the first eight years, although interest will be accrued. As shown by the graph at right, the value of this investment is likely to exceed the statutory limit of 5% of the balance of the Petroleum Fund in two or three years.
After several delays, $650 million was transferred from the Petroleum Fund to TimorGAP on 10 April 2019, and then paid to ConocoPhillips and Shell on 16 April. The April Petroleum Fund Monthly Report shows this as "Alternative", and it had grown to $656.7 million by the end of June. (In 2021, this loan was quietly revalued to zero because of uncertainties with the Greater Sunrise project -- see below.)
In June, La'o Hamutuk presented to the Timor-Leste Studies association on Implications of recent changes to Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund (also PDF). The presentation relates the recent legislative history and lack of transparency, consultation and deliberation, and identifies likely imminent developments.
See our web page on the Sunrise buyout for ongoing developments in that process.
In July, Government proposed and Parliament hastily enacted changes to the Petroleum Fund Law and Petroleum Activities Law to rationalize and expand direct investment of the Petroleum Fund in petroleum operations within Timor-Leste. The lack of deliberation and consultation was justified to enable ratification of the Maritime Boundary Treaty before the 30 August anniversary of the 1999 referendum, although the connection is dubious. More information, including the amendments and La'o Hamutuk's submission, is in our web page on ratifying the Treaty. On 28 August, the President vetoed these amendments. As they were not related to Treaty ratification, the Treaty entered into force as scheduled on 30 August.
The Investment Mandate in the agreement between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance was amended again on 30 July, with revisions to Mandate 7 about non-Australian equity investments.
Although the Boundary Treaty came into force on 28 August, after which Timor-Leste is entitled to 100% of Bayu-Undan revenues, the Quarterly Reports for the end of September do not show any change. Perhaps the revenues from production after the Treaty was in effect had not yet made it into the Fund.
Because investments did well and withdrawals were lower than authorized, the Fund ended 2019 with a record quarterly balance of $17.69 million.
The Ministry of Finance published the Fund's 2019 Annual Report in August 2020, and it contains interesting details about the Central Bank's and Investment Advisory Board's concerns regarding the legal amendments.
The first proposed State Budget for 2020 accelerates plans for unsustainable withdrawals:
However, this budget was withdrawn and a smaller budget was resubmitted in December 2019, although that too was rejected by Parliament. Together with lower spending in 2019, it would have been slightly less unsustainable:
Parlamentu halo revizaun ba orsamentu estadu 2019 ne’ebé veto ona iha Janeiru nia rohan, hasai tiha alokasaun tokon $650 hodi sosa partisipasaun iha Joint Venture Greater Sunrise nian, hodi hamenus ona planu levantamentu husi Fundu Petrolíferu durante 2019 ba biliaun $1.2, no ida ne’e nafatin boot liu dala rua kompara ho Rendimentu Sustentável Estimadu ho tokon $529. Prezidente promulga iha 7 Fevereiru.
Merkadu ekidade sira rekupera durante trimestre da uluk 2019 nian, ne’ebé fó fali liu husi tokon $800 ba ida ne’e sira lakon ona iha fulan haat ikus 2018. Too iha Marsu nia rohan, valór Fundu Petrolíferu ho biliaun $16.98, liu fali ho ida ne’ebé iha Juñu 2018 maibé ki’ik uitoan ho biliaun $17.16 ba pontu ida aas liu iha tinan klaran 2015 no Janeiru no Setembru 2018. Maibé, laiha transferénsia ne’ebé halo ba orsamentu estadu iha trimestre da uluk 2019 nian.
Debate kontinua realiza kona ba alterasaun Lei Atividade Petrolíferu ne’ebé sei autoriza levantamentu osan husi Fundu Petrolíferu atu sosa bai ha projetu Sunrise. Iha Janeiru, Deputadu/a 23 husi Parlamentu hatama petisaun ho 180 parágrafu hodi husu ba tribunal rekursu hodi deside bai ha alterasaun hirak ne’e illegal no inkonstituisional, maibé tribunal rejeita atu halo ida ne’e.
Iha 15 Fevereiru, gabinete Primeiru Ministru deklara kona ba selu ba partisipasaun iha Sunrise husi Fundu Petrolíferu bele kontinua too bainhira tribunal deside hapara. Polítika Investimentu ida ne’e (Portugés) aprova ona husi Konsellu Ministru iha 20 Fevereiru no aprezenta iha Parlamentu loron tuir mai. Bele hare aprezentasaun no debate iha YouTube (parte 2), ka bele mós hare iha sumáriu husi RTTL-TV no GMN-TV. Polítika foun autoriza 5% husi Fundu Petrolíferu atu investe iha TimorGAP, no hamenus persentajen husi Fundu iha stocks/asoens husi 40% ba too iha 35%. TimorGAP tenke uza investimentu atu esplora ba mina no gas iha kampu hirak ne’e identifika ka hatene ona katak komersialmente bele kompetitivu ka folin no sei kontribui ba dezenvolvimentu no diversifikasaun iha ekonomia nasionál. Iha 27 Fevereiru, Jornal da Repúblika publika ona Rezolusaun Governu 10/2019 iha nia regra no kritéria ba Selesaun, Jestaun no Avaliasaun iha klase foun, loron rua tuir mai públika tan Diploma Ministerial 4/2019 ba asuntu ne’ebé hanesan.
Espesífiku liu iha pájina 6-7 (Artigu 8) husi revizaun 11 Marsu ba Aneksu I husi Akordu Jestaun entre Ministériu Finansa no Banku Sentrál. Tokon $650 “investimentu seluk ne’ebé prienxe kritéria” iha TimorGAP konsidera hanesan “Instrumentu Dívida Privada ba iha Operasaun Petrolíferu.” Sei selu fila fali kada tinan ho taxa funan anuál ho 4.5% hafoin tinan 18. Maski, laiha buat ida mak sei bele selu iha tinan 8 primeiru. Hanesan hatudu iha gráfiku liman karuk, valór investimentu karik sei boot liu fali ho bareira husi 5% bai ha balansu Fundu Petrolíferu iha tinan rua ka tolu nia laran.
Hafoin adia balu, tokon $650 transfere husi Fundu Petrolíferu ba iha TimorGAP iha 10 Abril 2019, no selu ba ConocoPhillips no Shell iha 16 Abril. Relatóriu Mensál Fundu Petrolíferu fulan Abril hatudu hanesan “Alternativu”, no ida ne’e aumenta ba tokon $656.7 iha Juñu nia rohan. (Iha tinan 2021, MF muda valór empréstimu ida ne'e ba zero tanba inserteza iha projetu Greater Sunrise -- hare iha kraik.)
Iha Juñu, La’o Hamutuk aprezenta iha Asosiasaun Estudu Timor-Leste (TLSA) kona ba Implikasaun Husi Mudansa Atuál sira iha Timor-Leste nia Fundu Petrolíferu (no mós iha PDF). Aprezentasaun ne’e relasiona ho istória lejizlasaun atuál no menus transparénsia, konsultasaun no fahe informasaun, no identifika akontesimentu hirak ne’ebé bele akontese.
Hare iha ami nia pájina kona ba sosa Sunrise ba iha progresu dezenvolvimentu iha prosesu ida ne’e.
Iha Jullu, Governu propoin no Parlamentu ho lalais liu aprova mudansa iha Lei Fundu Petrolíferu no Lei Atividade Petrolíferu hodi hetan razaun ka rasionaliza no haboot tan investimentu direta husi Fundu Petrolíferu iha operasaun petrolíferu iha Timor-Leste. Deliberasaun no konsultasaun mínimu ida ne’e justifika atu halo ratifikasaun ba Tratadu Fronteira Maritima molok 30 Agostu, loron aniversáriu referendu 1999 nian, maski iha duvida ba konesaun asuntu rua ne’e. Informasaun seluk, inklui alterasaun no La’o Hamutuk nia submisaun, iha ona ami nia pájina ratifikasaun Tratadu. Iha 28 Agostu, Prezidente veto tiha alterasaun hira ne’e. Tanba hirak ne’e laiha relasaun ho ratifikasaun, Tratadu tama ona iha vigor tuir planu iha 30 Agostu.
Mandatu Investimentu ida iha akordu entre Banku Sentrál no Ministériu Finansa hetan alterasaun ida tan iha 30 Jullu, ho revizaun ba Artigu 7 kona ba investimentu ekidade sira iha nasaun seluk, la’ós Australia.
Maski Tratadu Fronteira tama ona iha vigor iha 28 Agostu, hafoin Timor-Leste hetan direitu ba 100% ba reseita husi Bayu-Undan, Relatóriu Trimestral fó sai iha Setembru nia rohan la hatudu mudansa ruma. Karik reseita hirak ne’e husi produsaun hafoin Tratadu tama iha vigor ne’ebé seidauk inklui iha Fundu.
Tanba investimentu la’o ho di’ak no levantamentu ki’ik liu kompara ho autorizasaun, Fundu iha fin 2019 ho balansu ba biliaun $17.69.
Ministériu Finansa publika ona Relatóriu Fundu Anuál 2019 iha Agostu 2020, no ida ne’e fó sai kona ba detallu sira kona preokupasaun sira kona ba Banku Sentrál no Konsellu Konsultativu Investimentu nian relasiona ho alterasaun legal sira.
In February 2020, La'o Hamutuk published a paper Implications of recent changes to Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund, updating our earlier presentation to the Timor-Leste Studies Association. We also broadcast a radio program on Investimentu Fundu Petrolifeiru (7MB MP3).
Although no money was withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund during February, the Fund's balance dropped $343 million during that month. It fell further in March, but recovered its losses from April through September.
Between mid-February and mid-March, global stock markets fell 26%, bond yield rates dropped by half, and the price of oil was 42% lower. La'o Hamutuk published Global economic developments hit Timor-Leste hard on our blog. On 27 March, the Central Bank informed Parliament that the Fund had already lost $1.8 billion due to the fall in stock and oil prices.
We updated our analysis at the end of each month, and the situation has improved slightly since then. In mid-April, the Central Bank reported that the PF balance at the end of March was $17.03 billion, $818 million lower than it had been two months earlier. It has fallen $476 million during March, and was $663 million lower than at the beginning of 2020. By the end of April, it had recovered somewhat, to $17.6 billion.
In March, the Government asked Parliament for an extraordinary transfer of $250 million to finance the duodecimal budget regime. When they declared the State of Emergency on 28 March, the Council of Ministers decided to ask for $100 million more, which was later increased to $150m. Parliament Committee C recommended approval of the $250m transfer on 31 March, although they also suggested using the $50 million that the ANPM is holding for TL Cement. The law was approved in generality on 1 April. The next day, the plenary approved only a $250m transfer, of which $150m is for a special fund for the Covid-19 emergency. President Lu-Olo promulgated Law No. 2/2020 (also English) on 6 April. $150m was transferred in April and $100m in May.
During April, the U.S. stock market had its strongest month in 33 years, recovering about 60% of the losses which had started in mid-February. Oil prices and interest rates on U.S. bonds fell only slightly during April. The stock market continued to rise in May, as did oil prices, although interest rates remained low, and the balance in the Fund at the end of May was $17.86 billion. If things stay as they were at the end of June for the rest of 2020, the Fund’s balance at the end of the year will be about $800 million less than was expected at the beginning of the year.
Former La'o Hamutuk researcher Juvinal Dias was sworn in as President of the Petroleum Fund Consultative Council on 16 June.
On 3 June, the Council of Ministers asked Parliament to authorize transferring $286.8 million more from the Petroleum Fund to support state spending until a 2020 budget can be enacted in September. On 15 June, Parliament agreed (Tatoli) by a 43-16 vote to discuss the proposed law expeditiously, and the following day Committee C (Public Finances) held a hearing. On 22 June, Committee C presented a 36-page report (Port.), including a unanimous recommendation (with four abstentions) to approve the transfer after removing $500,000 previously allocated to Parliament but never used. The transfer was approved in generality the same day, and on 23 June Parliament voted 43-0 (with 18 abstentions) to enact it (also Tatoli). On 30 June, the President promulgated Law No. 5/2020 authorizing a transfer of $286.3 million, of which $69.5 million will go to the Covid-19 Fund and $216.8 million will go into the treasury, as reported by Tatoli.
Because stock markets continued to recover, the Fund finished August with its highest balance in history: $18.7 billion. However, this is partly because only $420 million had been withdrawn during the first eight months of 2020; according to the initial third budget proposal, $510 million more will be withdrawn during the rest of the year.
In early September, La'o Hamutuk estimated that rising stock prices will outweigh lower-than-expected oil prices and bond interest rates, making the expected end-of-2020 Petroleum Fund balance about $60 million higher than the Ministry of Finance projected a year ago.
During September, the Government withdrew $150 million more from the Fund. At the end of September, the Fund's balance was $18.5 billion, as oil prices and bond interest rates remain low, and the stock market has leveled off. At the end of October, La'o Hamutuk projected that the Fund's year-end balance will be about $400 million less than was prudently estimated last year, although it recovered somewhat in November and December.
In October, Parliament approved a 2020 State Budget that will withdraw $964 million from the Petroleum Fund during 2020, $394 million more than had already been withdrawn.
During October, but before the 2020 State Budget was promulgated, Government withdrew $117 million more from the Petroleum Fund, reaching the total amount authorized by the two laws authorizing extraordinary transfers. In early December, $300 million more was withdrawn.
On 20 October, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance signed a revised annex to their Management Agreement to clarify how the loan to TimorGAP is to be handled.
The State Budget for 2021 will withdraw $1,378 million from the Fund during 2021, which is 7.5% of the country's petroleum wealth, the highest level in history. The Estimated Sustainable Income expects that only 3.0% will be withdrawn each year. The budget expects annual withdrawals to exceed $2.1 billion in 2022 and 2023. As shown in the graph at right, the Ministry of Finance made its first realistic projection about how long the Petroleum Fund will last -- until 2029.
The Petroleum Balance at the end of November reached just over $19 billion, an all-time high, although this dropped slightly by year-end. Withdrawals during 2020 totalled $886 million, well above ESI but less than the $964m authorized by the 2020 State Budget.
Iha Fevereiru 2020, La’o Hamutuk publika ona artigu ida kona ba Implications of recent changes to Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund, no atualiza foin lalais iha aprezentasaun (Ing.) ba iha Asosiasaun Estudu Timor-Leste (TLSA). Ami mós halo iha programa radio ida kona ba Investimentu Fundu Petrolifeiru (7MB MP3).
Maski, laiha osan ne’ebé hasai husi Fundu Petrolíferu durante Fevereiru, balansu Fundu tuun ba tokon $343 durante iha fulan refere. No ida ne’e monu maka’as iha fulan Marsu, maibé rekupera ba hirak ne’e tuun husi Abril ate Setembru.
Iha médiu Fevereiru no médiu Marsu, asoens/stock iha merkadu ekidade global tuun ba 26%, taxa rendimentu ba títulu tuun ba too iha sorin balu, no presu mina ki’ik liu ho 42%. La’o Hamutuk publika ami nia pájina blog Akontesimentu Ekonomia Global fó impaktu boot ba Timor-Leste (mos PDF). Iha 27 Marsu, Banku Sentral hato’o ba Parlamentu katak iha Fundu lakon ona biliaun $1.8 tanba merkadu ekidade global tuun no presu mina mós tuun.
Ami atualiza ami nia analiza sira iha loron ikus kada fulan, no situasaun ida ne’e hetan mudansa uitoan iha tempu ne’ebá. Iha médiu Abril, iha relatóriu Banku Sentral fó sai katak balansu iha Fundu Petrolíferu iha fin fulan Marsu ho biliaun $17.03, tokon $818 ki’ik liu kompara ho ida ne’ebé iha inísiu fulan rua nian. Tuun ba tokon $476 durante fulan Marsu, no tokon $663 ki’ik liu kompara ho iha inísiu tinan 2020. Iha fin Abril, hetan rekuperasaun uitoan, ba biliaun $17.6.
Iha Marsu, Governu husu ba Parlamentu ba transferénsia estraordináriu ho tokon $250 atu finansia rejime orsamentu duodesimu. Bainhira sira deklara atu aplika Estadu Emerjénsia iha 28 Marsu, Konsellu Ministru deside atu husu tan tokon $100, ne’ebé aumenta tan iha tempu besik ba tokon $150. Parlamentu Komisaun C rekomenda aprovasaun ba transferénsia tokon $250 iha 31 Marsu, maski nune’e, sira mós sujere atu uza mós tokon $50 ne’ebé too ohin loron rai hela iha konta ANPM ba TL Cement. Lei ida ne’e aprova ho jeneralidade iha 1 Abril. Loron tuir mai, iha plenária aprova de’it transferénsia tokon $250, ne’ebé tokon $150 ba iha fundu espesiál ba emerjénsia Covid-19. Prezidente Lu-Olo promulga Lei No. 2/2020 iha 6 Abril. Tokon $150 transfere iha Abril no tokon $100 iha Maiu.
Durante Abril, merkadu ekidade iha Estadu Unidus (U.S.) sai maka'as liu kompara ho fulan hotu durante tinan 33 ona, rekupera kuaze 60% ba hirak ne’ebé lakon ona hahú iha médiu Fevereiru. Presu mina no taxa funan tuun uitoan de’it durante Abril. Merkadu ekidade kontinua aumenta iha Maiu, hanesan ho presu mina, mezmu taxa funan nafatin ki’ik, no balansu Fundu iha fin Maiu mak biliaun $17.86. Se ida ne’e kontinua nafatin iha fin Juñu ba too iha 2020 remata, balansu Fundu iha tinan ne’e nia rohan sei iha maizumenus tokon $800 ki’ik liu kompara ho saida mak ita espekta iha inísiu tinan ida ne’e.
Ex-peskizadór La’o Hamutuk Juvinal Dias ne’ebé asume knaar nudár Prezidente Konsellu Konsultativu Fundu Petrolíferu iha 16 Juñu.
Iha 3 Juñu, Konsellu Ministru husu Parlamentu atu autoriza transferénsia tokon $286.8 tan husi Fundu Petrolíferu atu suporta ba despeza estadu too bainhira orsamentu 2020 bele promulga iha Setembru. Iha 15 Juñu, Parlamentu konkorda (Tatoli) ho votu 43-6 atu debate proposta lei ho lalais liu, no loron tuir mai Komisaun C (Finansa Públika) realiza audiénsia. Iha 22 Juñu, Komisaun C aprezenta relatóriu ho pájina 36 (Port.) inklui rekomendasaun unanimidade (ho 4 mak abstensaun) hodi aprova ba transferénsia ida ne’e hafoin hasai tiha $500,000 ne’ebé antes aloka ba iha Parlamentu sira no la uza. Transferénsia ida ne’e aprova ho jeneralidade iha loron hanesan, no iha 23 Juñu Parlamentu ho votu 43-0 (ho abstensaun 18) hodi aprova ida ne’e (fó sai mós iha Tatoli). Iha 30 Juñu, Prezidente promulga Lei No.5/2020 ba autorizasaun transferénsia tokon $286.3, ne’ebé tokon $69.5 sei bai ha Fundu Covid-19 no tokon $216.8 sei bai ha tezouro, ne’ebé fó sai ona husi Tatoli.
Tanba merkadu ekidade kontinua rekupera, no Fundu remata iha Agosto no aas liu iha istória kona ba balansu: biliaun $18.7. Maibé, parte ida ne’e tanba de’it tokon $420 hasai ona durante fulan 8 primeiru iha 2020; bazeia ba proposta orsamentu inisiál datolu, kuaze liu tokon $510 sei hasai tan molok tinan ida ne’e remata.
Durante fulan Setembru, Governu levanta ona tokon $150 tan husi Fundu. Iha fin fulan Setembru, balansu mak biliaun $18.5, tanba folin mina no funan husi títulu nafatin ki'ik, no merkadu ekidade la kontinua atu sa’e. Iha fin de fulan Outubru, La'o Hamutuk estimatiza katak balansu Fundu iha tinan ikus sei maizumenus tokon $400 menus montante ne'ebe Ministériu Finansas estimatiza (ho prudente) tinan kotuk, maske saldu ne'e rekupera durante fulan Novembru no Dezembru.
Iha fulan Outubru, Parlamentu aprova ona orsamentu estadu ba 2020 ne’ebé sei transfere tokon $964 husi Fundu Petrolíferu durante 2020, tokon $394 liu montante transfere ona.
Durante fulan Outubru, molok OJE 2020 hetan promulgasaun, Governu levanta tokon $117 tan husi Fundu Petrolifeiru, atinje montante tomak iha transferensia estraordinaria ne’ebé lei rua autoriza.
Proposta Orsamentu Jerál Estadu ba 2021 sei transfere tokon $1,377 husi Fundu Petróleu durante tinan 2021. Montante ne'e mak 7.5% husi nasaun nia riku soin petrolíferu, montante aas liu iha istória. Tuir Rendimentu Sustentável Estimadu, bele transfere 3.0% kada tinan. Proposta OJE planu atu hasai liu biliaun $2.1 kada tinan iha 2022 no 2023. Hanesan hatudu iha gráfiku, Ministériu Finansas halo projesaun realistíku katak Fundu Petróleu bele mamuk iha tinan 2029.
During the first quarter of 2021, the Petroleum Fund balance stayed just below $19 billion, with investment returns and petroleum revenues barely offsetting the $200 million that was withdrawn in February to finance the State Budget.
In April and May, Timor-Leste enacted a revision to the 2021 budget but the additional expenditures are being financed with cash balances and by shifting money from other appropriation lines, so withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund remain the same, including $150 million in April.
On 19 May, the Council of Ministers endorsed a proposal by the Minister of Finance to segment the Petroleum Fund's investments into two portfolios: Liquidity and Growth. The former, with low-risk cash and short-term bonds, would contain enough money to cover three years of withdrawals, about $3 billion. The remainder, in the Growth Portfolio, would be invested 35% in stocks and 65% in bonds. The new structure is described in the 15th amendment to Annex I of the Investment Management Agreement between BCTL and the Ministry of Finance, which took effect on 1 July. It reduces the overall risk to the Fund's investments by investing less in stock markets. (See below for more information on this segmentation.)
The Fund's stock investments continued to do well, and the balance reached a record $19.5 billion at the end of June. Oil and gas revenues, however, were only $128 million during the first half of 2021, compared with $247 million in the same period of 2020, and $433 million in the first half of 2019. During the first halves of 2011-2014, petroleum revenues averaged $1,523 million. By the end of August, the balance had risen to $19.7 billion, although it dropped to $19.2 billion in September due to a large withdrawal and investment losses, the largest one-month drop since 2018.
Durante trimestre primeiru iha 2021, balansu Fundu Petrolíferu nafatin iha biliaun $19 nia okos, ho retornu investimentu no reseita mina nian uitoan de’it la hanesan ho montante osan tokon $200 ne’ebé hasai iha Fevereiru atu finansia Orsamentu Estadu.
Iha Abril no Maiu, Timor-Leste aprova ona revizaun ba Orsamentu Estadu 2021 maibé gastu adisionál ne’e finansia ho saldu osan no liu husi muda osan husi liu rubrika sira seluk, nune’e halo levantamentu husi Fundu Petrolíferu nafatin hanesan, inklui tokon $150 iha Abril.
Iha loron 19 Maiu, Konsellu Ministru aprova ona proposta ida husi Ministru Finansas atu fahe investimentu Fundu Petrolíferu ba portafóliu rua: Likidade no Kreximentu. Ida uluk ne’e, ho osan risku ki’ik no títulu ba tempu badak, sei iha osan nato’on atu kobre levantamentu tinan tolu, maizumenus biliaun $3. Restu sira iha Portafóliu Kreximentu, sei investe 35% ba iha asoens no 65% iha titulus. Estrutura foun ne’e deskreve iha alterasaun 15 ba aneksu I husi Akordu Jestaun Investimentu nian entre BCTL no Ministériu Finansas, ne’ebé tama en vigor iha 1 Jullu. Ida ne’e hamenus risku tomak iha investimentu Fundu liu tanba hamenus investimentu iha merkadu asoens. (Hare iha kraik atu hetan informasaun tan kona-ba fahe ida ne'e.)
Fundu investimentu iha asoens kontinua la’o di’ak, no balansu to'o ona biliaun $19.5 iha Juñu nia rohan. Maske nune’e, reseita mina no gàs mak tokon $128 de'it durante fulan neen primeiru husi 2021, kompara ho tokon $247 iha periodu hanesan iha 2020, no tokon $433 iha médiu primeiru husi 2019. Durante médiu primeiru husi 2011-2014, reseita mina ho media tokon $1,523. Iha fulan Agostu nia rohan, balansu sa’e ona ba biliaun $19.7. Iha fulan Setembru, balansu tuun ba biliaun $19.2 tanba levantamentu no folin investimentu sira tuun. Monu mensal ida ne'e boot liu dezde 2018.
The Government proposed its State Budget for 2022 to Parliament in October 2021. Although PF withdrawals will be lower in 2022, they will exceed two billion (four times ESI) in 2023 and 2024.
Although neither the Ministry of Finance's Petroleum Fund 2020 Annual Report nor the 2020 Annual Report from TimorGAP was produced yet (they were released many months after the legal deadlines), Book 1 of the proposed 2022 State Budget contains some interesting information on page 38:
"The Fund’s external auditor advised that the [Petroleum Fund’s loan to Timor Gap E.P.] needs to be reported at fair value rather than its amortised cost, which was $701.350 million as at December 2020. The loan was structured on the basis that Timor Gap E.P. will make the repayments from the cash flows it receives from participating in the Greater Sunrise project. However, Timor Gap E.P. wrote down the value of its interest in Greater Sunrise from $673.3 million to zero as at 31 December 2020. ... The fair value of the Fund’s loan is being assessed by an independent expert. ... [It] is uncertain and is assumed to be zero for the 2022 ESI estimate."
Since the new value is not available and the BCTL reports do not yet reflect this devaluation, the numbers and graphs above the one in the previous paragraph, and the reports below, continue to include the loan to TimorGAP at its full cost, which would have been $723 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021.
At the end of October, the Ministry of Finance released material on the new segmentation of the Petroleum Fund, including an Explanatory Statement, presentation(Tetum) given to Parliament in July, and responses to Parliamentary questions.
The BCTL released its Third Quarter report on the Petroleum Fund in early November. followed by its October monthly report. Although the reports discuss the segmentation of the PF, they do not mention or show the write-down of the Fund's loan to TimorGAP. Lusa reported on the write-down in mid-November, and the Audit Court raised concerns about in their report on the 2020 General State Accounts (complete Portuguese original). TimorGAP's belatedly-released Annual Report for 2020 discussed the write-down.
Iha fulan Outubru 2021, Governu proposta Orsamentu Jeral Estadu ba 2022 ba Parlamentu Nasional. Maske levantamentu husi Fundu Petrolifeiru sei menus iha 2022, sira sei boot liu biliaun $2 (RSE dala haat) iha 2023 no 2024.
Maske Relatóriu Anuál FP husi Ministériu Finansas ba tinan 2020 no Relatóriu Anuál 2020 husi TimorGAP seidauk publika fulan balu hafoin kalendáriu legal, Livru 1 husi proposta OJE 2022 inklui informasaun interesante iha pájina 36:
"Auditor esternu husi Fundu Petrolíferu fo konsellu atu rekoñese [dívidas privadas (Private loan) Fundu Petrolíferu ba Timor Gap E.P] iha valor justu (fair value) no laos iha kustu amortizadu (amortised cost) ho valor millaun $701.350 iha Dezembru 2020. Tuir termus dívida ida ne’e, Timor Gap sei halo pagamentu ho fluksu kaixa ne’ebe simu husi partisipasaun iha projetu Greater Sunrise. Maibe, Timor Gap anota valor husi nia ativus ka interesse partisipativu (participating interest) iha Greater Sunrise husi millaun $673.3 ba zero iha Dezembru 2020. ... Valor justu dívidas privadas atualmente sei iha prosesu avaliasaun husi péritu independente ... no insertu. Ba Estimasaun RSE 2022, presupostu iha dívidas privadas valorizadu zero."
Tanba valor foun seidauk iha, no relatóriu sira husi BCTL seidauk inkorpora valorizasaun foun, númeru no gráfiku sira iha leten ba parágrafu anteriór, no relatóriu sira iha kraik, nafatin inklui dívidas ba Timor GAP ho valor amortizadu, ne’ebé mak tokon $723 bainhira trimestre terseiru 2021 remata.
Iha fin fulan Outubru, Ministériu Finansas matéria kona-ba portafolio rui foun iha investimentu Fundu Petrolíferu nian, inklui Nota Explicativa (Port.), aprezentasaun ne'ebe sira fó ba PN iha fulan Jullu, and Resposta às Perguntas e às Recomendações do Parlamento Nacional (Port.).
Banku Sentral fó sai nia relatoriu ba Trimestre Terseiru no ba fulan Outubru kona-ba Fundu Petrolifeiru iha Novembru. Maske relatóriu rua ne'e diskute fahe investimentu FP nian, laiha referensia ba revalorizasaun dividas ba TimorGAP. Lusa hakerek artigu ida kona-ba revalorizasaun (Port/Ing) iha fulan Novembru nia klaran, no Tribunal das Kontas preokupa ho asuntu ne'e iha sira nia Relatoriu no Paraser kona-ba Konta Jeral Estadu 2020 (Port.).
In April 2022, the Ministry of Finance submitted its Annual Report on the Petroleum Fund for 2020 to Parliament, nine months after the legal deadline. It was published on the BCTL website in May. The Petroleum Fund's $650 million loan to TimorGAP is discussed on pages 5-6, and its revaluation on pages 19 and 44. At the end of 2020, the Ministry subtracted a "fair value loss" of $85.6 million (12%) from the loan because of risks that
"- the cash flows from Timor Gap’s share of oil and gas revenues may not be large enough to meet the contractual repayments of principal and/or interest; or
- the anticipated cash flows from oil and gas revenues may not materialize within the time frame assumed by the grace period; or
- other events may occur that impact the ability of the issuers to make the agreed repayments at the agreed times."
In early May, while Parliament was debating whether to withdraw an additional $1.1 billion from the Fund (mostly to support veterans), the BCTL released its First Quarter 2022 Report on the Petroleum Fund.
For the first time, the report acknowledged the 2020 revaluation of the loan to TimorGAP, with a note:
"There has been reclassification of a private debt instrument from amortized cost method to fair value measurement. The Fair Value as of December 2020 was $615.7 million reflected in financial assets held at fair value until a new valuation for 2021 is finalized."
Oil and gas revenues were more than expected during the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 due to very high LNG sales prices. However, the first quarterly report showed that the value of the Petroleum Fund's investments had dropped $904 million since the end of 2021, the largest quarterly loss in the Fund's 15-year history.
In the second quarter, the investments' value dropped $1,026 million further, and they fell another $622 million in the third quarter. By the end of September, the balance in the Fund was $17.0 billion, the lowest since early 2019. By the end of 2022 it had recovered slightly, to $17.4 billion. and the investment loss for the year was $1.9 billion.
In October, the Government proposed the General State Budget for 2023 to Parliament. Although the proposed 2023 budget documents reiterate the warnings about a "fiscal cliff" when the Petroleum Fund is exhausted (by 2035, according to optimistic Ministry of Finance scenarios), they continue to plan withdrawals far above sustainable levels.
The Central Bank (formerly BPA) is required to publish reports on the Petroleum Fund 40 days after the end of each quarter. The BPA also issues a quarterly press release summarizing the report. La'o Hamutuk reviewed the first report in our December 2005 Bulletin, and published a more comprehensive article on the Fund in our March 2007 Bulletin. Our November 2008 Bulletin also discusses issues relating to the Petroleum Fund and the State Budget. We discussed in the Petroleum Fund on our Tetum-language Radio Igualidade program in March 2009.
Since 2008, the State Secretariat for Natural Resources publishes an annual Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report, relating money received from petroleum companies during the past year, available from the table below.
Since 2009, the Central Bank has published monthly reports about the Petroleum Fund on their website at https://www.bancocentral.tl/en/go/publications-key-report-petroleum-fund-report.
Banku Central (eis-ABP) iha obrigasaun atu publika relatoriu Fundu Petroleu nian loron 40 depois iha fim de kada fulan tolu (kada trimestral). BCTL mos tenke hatoo komunikadu imprensa kada fulan tolu nian. La'o Hamutuk hakerek komentariu kona-ba relatoriu primeiru nian iha ami nia Buletin Dezembru 2005 no publika ho artigu ida ne’ebé komprehensivu liu kona-ba Fundu iha Buletin Marsu 2007. Ami nia Buletin Novembru 2008 mos koalia kona ba asuntu sira ne’ebé iha relasaun ho Fundu Petroleum no Orsamentu Estadu. Ami mos halo diskusaun kona-ba Fundu Petroleum nian iha ami nia Programa Radio Igualidade ho ita nia lian Tetum iha fulan Marsu 2009.
Komesa hosi 2008, Sekretariu Estadu Rekursu Naturais publika relatóriu annual ida husi Inisiativa Transparensia ba Industria Extrativa ka EITI, kona-ba osan ne’ebé simu husi kompania minarai sira durante tinan kotuk, bele hetan iha tabela iha okos.
Desde 2009, BCTL publika sai relatóriu mensal kona-ba Fundu Petroleu nian iha sira nia website: https://www.bancocentral.tl/tt/go/publications/key-report/relat-riu-fundu--osan--mina-rai.
(Note: The BCTL's numbering system for the reports below changed in 2008.
To make some files easier to download, La'o Hamutuk has slightly degraded their graphics quality. Larger files may be on the Central Bank or Finance Ministry websites.)
(Note: Sistema numeru BCTL nian muda iha tinan 2008.
Atu halo download fasil liu, La'o Hamutuk hamenus uituan rezolusaun iha relatoriu balun. Bele hetan arkivu boot liu husi portal Banku Sentral ka Ministeriu Finansas.)
The above graph shows where the money deposited into the Petroleum Fund comes from. In 2016, investment return replaced oil exports as the primary source, and this is likely to continue as oil reserves are depleted. Although the return of over-assessed taxes exacerbated the reduction of oil income from February 2016 through January 2017, oil and gas revenues will never return to pre-2015 levels, as prices and production have both dropped significantly.
The variations from month to month have several causes:
Shutdown (Elang-Kakatua) or startup (Kitan) of new field production.
Changes in world oil market prices (see below).
Changes in LNG contract prices.
Changes in amounts sold, through extra ship cargoes.
Changes in field production from maintenance shutdowns or wells coming on- or off-line.
Late payments, sometimes with penalties (March 2011, September 2012 and November 2012)
Return of incorrectly assessed taxes (February 2015 and most of 2016)
Production rising as a field is developing and falling as reserved are exhausted.
|The graph at right (hare'e iha Tetum) shows the royalty (FTP) portions of Timor-Leste's petroleum revenues until 2016, which are approximately 9% of the sales of each product during the previous month. This magnified view of the small bars at the bottom of the previous graph makes it easier to see the contribution of each field and product. Kitan production increased rapidly after it started production in October 2011, it was exhausted in four years.|
The red line on the graph is the world market price for crude oil multiplied by the number of barrels produced, on the right-hand scale. Royalties for liquids generally follow the market price, while royalties for gas (LNG) are a few months behind. As there are other factors which influence FTP (see above), price is only one indicator. Prices dropped sharply during May 2012, to about $90/barrel, and have been up and down since then. During October 2014, they dropped to $83/barrel, the lowest price in four years. Production also dropped in September and October.
These graphs are discussed in more detail on our blog How Timor-Leste got $10 billion ... and how quickly we will spend it all, which also explores how the Fund will be emptied within a decade if current spending policies continue.
In July 2013, La'o Hamutuk presented to the Timor-Leste Studies Association conference on How long will the Petroleum Fund carry Timor-Leste? (also Tetum). We tried to answer this question by modeling various scenarios of petroleum income, investment return, spending policies, borrowing, capital investment, domestic revenue and other variables. One output is the somewhat optimistic "reference case" shown at right (updated in 2015 to reflect new oil revenue and budgetary information), showing that the Fund will be exhausted in 15 years.
By changing various assumptions and policies, one can explore their impacts. If current trends continue, the Fund will be gone by 2025, but with wiser, tougher decisions and some good luck, it might be possible for it to finance the state until the non-oil economy is developed in a couple of decades. This model (spreadsheet) has been revised, expanded and written up in English and Tetum, and the latest materials can be found here.
In March 2014, we published Oil production inevitably declines, pointing out that Kitan's production had been dropping since its peak two years earlier (revenues peaked in early 2013), and that Bayu-Undan revenues have been falling since 2012.
In September 2014, we published a more detailed paper Can the Petroleum Fund Exorcise the Resource Curse from Timor-Leste? (revised June 2015) which further explains Timor-Leste's unsustainable oil-dependency. This problem is being increasingly discussed by other experts inside and outside of Government.
We revised the projections again in June 2015, based on new oil prices, state budgets and spending, and plans for future projects. The results are not significantly different, with reduced spending growth being cancelled out by lower oil revenues. Six year later, they have only changed a little, although this graph is no longer accurate for the current situation.
Nearly all the petroleum revenues Timor-Leste earns at present come from Bayu-Undan in the Joint Petroleum Development Area established by the Timor Sea Treaty. This is managed by the National Petroleum Authority (ANP, formerly the Timor Sea Designated Authority), which publishes monthly revenue and other information at http://www.anp-tl.org/webs/anptlweb.nsf/vwLafaekFTPListl. The Petroleum Fund Quarterly Reports aggregate income to the Fund as "taxpayer receipts," including these payments from the ANPM/TSDA as well as payments by companies directly to the RDTL government.
|Rendimentu petroleum barak mak Timor-Leste hetan agora mai husi Bayu-Undan iha Area Dezenvolvimentu Petroleum Konjuntu ne’ebé estabelese husi Tratadu Tasi Timor. Area ida ne'e kontrola husi Autoridade Petroleum Nasional (eis-Timor Sea Designated Authority ka Autoridade Designadu Tasi Timor) ne’ebé publika rendimentu kada fulan no informasaun seluk tan iha http://www.anp-tl.org/webs/anptlweb.nsf/vwLafaekFTPListl. Relatoriu trimestral husi ABP tau hamutuk rendimentu ba Fundu Petroleum hanesan “Reseita husi selu taxa nian”, inklui pagamentu hirak ne’ebé husi ANP/TSDA nune’e mos ho pagamentu diretamente husi kompanha sira ba governu RDTL.|
World oil market prices dropped sharply in mid-2014, as shown in the graph at left. Although they began to recover in 2016-2018, they fell 25% in late 2018 and even more sharply in March 2020. This reduces Timor-Leste's oil income, compounding the impact of declining production.
The U.S. dollar has also risen in value relative to other currencies. This reduces inflation and should lower the cost of imports, but it also reduces the value of Petroleum Fund investments denominated in other currencies. Foreign exchanges losses to the Fund were $426 million in 2014 and $302 million in 2015, more than the Fund earned in interest and dividends during those two years. In fact, the total return on the Fund's investments during 2015 was negative $21 million. During 2018, the Fund endured $460 million in investment losses.
Bayu-Undan oil (LPG and condensate) production is also dropping, as shown in the graph at right, and will stop completely in 2022.
Additional wells were drilled in 2018 and 2021 to extract the last drops of oil and gas from the field. Although little remains to be extracted, the pipeline and Darwin LNG plant are designed to process gas (LNG) at a constant rate, which will continue almost until the field shuts down.
The Ministry of Finance has been reducing its predictions for future oil and gas revenues, as shown in the graph at left comparing the Government's recent annual budget forecasts. Oil prices fell markedly after the 2015 budget forecast was made, the fields are being depleted, and Kitan has already been decommissioned.
Petroleum experts debated whether Bayu-Undan will last until 2022 or 2023, and economists and politicians differ as to whether the savings in the Petroleum Fund will run out in 2030 or 2036. Some dream of untold additional wealth from onshore fields, Chuditch or Greater Sunrise, but a 2021 La'o Hamutuk analysis shows that this is unrealistic.
The fundamental non-sustainability of Timor-Leste's oil-export-dependent economy is unavoidable.