The Timor-Leste (East Timor) government is due in 2019 to launch tenders for new onshore oil exploration blocks in the south of the country, the interim Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources announced on Tuesday in Dili.
Ágio Pereira, speaking at the 4th International Conference on Geoscience, under the theme “Geological data and information for the diversification of the economy,” said the tender will be launched by the National Oil and Mineral Authority.
Timor-Leste granted the first two oil exploration and production licenses in the interior of the country in April 2017, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The first two contracts cover an area of about 2,000 square kilometers and were awarded to the Timor Gap Onshore Block, a subsidiary of the Timor-Leste public oil company (Timor Gap), and Timor Resources Pty Ltd, of Australia’s Nepean Group.
In addition to the new round of onshore exploration, the government wants to extend the area of maritime exploration, especially after the ratification of the new border treaty with Australia.
The official also referred to the Government’s decision to purchase the 30% stake owned by ConocoPhillips in the Greater Sunrise field consortium, which “places Timor-Leste in a more advantageous position for direct partnering,” to implement the pipeline project to the south of the country.
The 4th International Geoscience Conference, attended by East Timorese and foreign experts, is taking place from 23 to 26 October in the city of Dili. (Macauhub)