ISSN #1088-8136

Vol. 11, No. 1
Spring 2005


Spring 2005  Home

ETAN Assists Aceh

ETAN Takes A New Name

What’s the Deal with the Timor Sea?

IMET Certified; Congress Speaks Out on TNI, Aceh, Papua, Timor Sea

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ETAN Home Page


What’s the Deal with the Timor Sea?

Australia was saying, while Timor-Leste was denying, that a deal had been struck over petroleum resources in the Timor Sea. The apparent agreement would cheat the new nation. ETAN urged the two governments to conduct negotiations based on fundamental international legal principles. ETAN also condemned Australia’s continued pressure through media leaks and other means to force East Timor to concede its oil and gas rights by making a rapid agreement on the Timor Sea.

At publication, Timor had not approved the proposal and the details of any agreement had yet to be released. Media reports said that Australia will pay East Timor around US$3.8 billion over the next 30 to 40 years; negotiations over the maritime boundary would be delayed for 60 years. Experts project government revenue from the Sunrise oil and gas at around US$39 billion.

"Why the rush to complete a deal?" asked ETAN Executive Committee member Charles Scheiner. "East Timor will receive sufficient revenues from other oil projects for the next 15 years. Furthermore, the value of Sunrise natural gas will increase over time."

In April, East Timorese NGOs urged their government not to "rush in obtaining an agreement... it is more important that you determine [boundaries] based on international law..." They also asked "the Australian government to return to international dispute resolution processes for maritime boundaries" and to "cease exploration" and new licenses in disputed areas.

see Reported Australia/Timor-Leste Oil Deal "Cheats" East Timorese, Says ETAN

Timor Sea, Boundaries and Oil page