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Office of the Prime Minister

7 September 2004

Timor-Leste Prime Minister Welcomes First Successful Seismic Tender

Timor-Leste (East Timor) Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri today welcomed the successful result of the new nation’s first tender for offshore seismic and geophysical data acquisition rights.

The highly competitive bid jointly advanced by BGP (owned by PetroChina) and GGS (Geo Global Services, a Norwegian-based company) puts Timor-Leste on a sound footing in its bid to develop its own petroleum resources.

“I am very pleased that the Timor-Leste Government received significant interest from seismic companies. The bid by BGP-GGS is outstanding in terms of its financial offer, commitment to local training, and the amount of seismic work to be undertaken,” the Prime Minister said.

The acquisition of data is part of a plan to subsequently invite tenders for Timor-Leste's first exploration license round in the first quarter of 2005. Timor-Leste is in the process of articulating a regulatory and fiscal regime for petroleum activities. The draft documents that will make up this regime are currently available for public comment.  It is the aim that it be in place by the end of 2004.

This has been Timor-Leste's first sovereign licensing round. Timor-Leste, as a signatory to the Timor Sea Treaty, is already active in the joint governance of petroleum development in certain areas of the Timor Sea administrated by a joint Timor-Leste-Australia authority, the Timor Sea Designated Authority.

The seismic round was announced by the Prime Minister at the SEAAOC conference in Darwin on June 7. Bid tender packages were made available on June 15, and bids were made by July 15.

A committee of Timor-Leste government officials and international advisers reviewed the bids against a set of objective criteria derived from the Terms of Reference. While all the bids were competitive, the joint BGP-GGS bid, offered a substantially higher return to the government, a more comprehensive training package and a more extensive work program.

The data collected by BGP-GGS remains the property of the state of Timor-Leste but the rights to use this data will be available for purchase by exploration companies.

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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