|East Timor designates areas to set up oil industry centre |
[ 2009-09-14 ]
Darwin, Australia, 14 Sept – East Timor’s secretary of state for natural resources, Alfredo Pires said that the government had designated three areas in the south of the country to become the centre of the Timorese oil industry, according to reports in the local press.
The area may, in the future, be the site of a petrochemical plant, a liquid propane gas (LPG) factory and a fuel supply centre.
East Timor and Australia share the profits of the Bayu Undan field in the Timor Sea, but are unable to agree on oil reserves at the Greater Sunrise oil field.
The Bayu Undan field is operated by ConocoPhillips and has been producing gas since 2006.
A group of oil companies led by Australia’s Woodsie plans to create support facilities for the Greater Sunrise field some 530 kilometres to the south of Darwin, Ausralia, where ConocoPhilips has a liquid gas plant.
The Greater Sunrise field has estimated light oil reserves of 240 million barrels and 154 billion cubic metres of natural gas.
Pires said that the Timor government believed that in order for the population to benefit from oil resources “they need to be on our coast.”
“We are not just partners in the oil field. We are also owners,” he added.
Pires told news agency Associated Press that the East Timor Oil Fund had reserves of around US$5 billion, which was sufficient to build infrastructures such as roads, ports, and a power plant, but was negotiating with several foreign companies to obtaining funding of US$10 billion to launch the petrochemical industry.
Officials at the Australian company have said that a pipeline 180 kilometres long could be built from the Greater Sunrise wells to the East Timor coast, but have noted that it would be a very expensive and risky project. (macauhub)