Subject: AFX: ETimor to release seismic survey data to oil exploration rights bidders

Also: Timor closer to energy autonomy

Thursday February 17, 10:40 AM

ETimor to release seismic survey data to oil exploration rights bidders soon

DILI (AFX) - East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said a seismic survey conducted by the BGP-GGS consortium of Petrochina and Norway's GGS over a potential energy source in the Timor Sea has been completed and the results will soon be made available to interested bidders for exploration rights.

'This survey puts our new nation on a sound footing to develop petroleum resources in our own area of the Timor Sea. This data will shortly be made available for industry to bid for exploration rights,' Alkatiri said in a statement.

The survey vessel MV Zephyr, with its crew of 39 including three Timorese trainees, has collected 6,500 kms of seismic data over an area of 30,000 sq kms in the Timor Sea over the past seven weeks.

Up to now all petroleum activities have been conducted with Australia in the Joint Petroleum Development Area, which was created by the Timor Sea Treaty.

East Timor shares oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea with Australia and is currently trying te resolve a dispute over the division of the area.

Alkatiri said the survey shows that East Timor is determined to press ahead with the development of its own petroleum potential in onshore and offshore areas, and will not be distracted by the dispute with Australia.

He added that parliament is expected to pass soon a package of laws for the licensing of offshore and onshore development. A bidding round for onshore development rights could take place soon after the laws have been passed.

Officials have said East Timor would launch this year a global 'roadshow' to attract foreign energy firms to commit to exploration in the areas in which it has exclusive jurisdiction, with licenses to be given out shortly afterwards

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Townsville Bulletin

Timor closer to energy autonomy 
Fom correspondents in Dili 17feb05

THE completion of a seismic survey has taken East Timor a step closer to developing its own energy resources, the country's Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said today.

The survey vessel MV Zephyr, with its crew of 39 including three Timorese trainees, has collected 6500km of seismic data over an area of 30,000 sq km in the Timor Sea over the past seven weeks.

"This survey puts our new nation on a sound footing to develop petroleum resources in our own area of the Timor Sea," Mr Alkatiri said.

"This data will shortly be made available for industry to bid for exploration rights."

The survey was conducted by the BGP-GGS consortium. BGP is owned by PetroChina and GGS is a Norwegian company.

All previous petroleum activities have been conducted with Australia in the Joint Petroleum Development Area, which was created by the Timor Sea Treaty.

East Timor shares oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea with Australia and is trying te resolve a dispute over the division of the area.

The survey showed East Timor was determined to press ahead with the development of its own petroleum potential in onshore and offshore areas, and would not be distracted by the dispute with Australia, Mr Alkatiri said.

Parliament was expected to pass a package of laws for the licensing of offshore and onshore development.

A bidding round for onshore development rights could take place soon after the laws have been passed.

Officials have said East Timor would this year launch a global "roadshow" to attract foreign energy firms to commit to exploration in the areas in which it has exclusive jurisdiction, with licenses to be given out shortly afterwards.

East Timor, which gained statehood in 2002 after more than two decades of struggle against Indonesian rule, is looking to the energy sector as its major source of income with potentially billions of dollars of revenues available.


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