Subject: LUSA: Oil fund balance hit USD 508 mn in 1st quarter

East Timor: Oil fund balance hit USD 508 mn in 1st quarter

Dili, May 5 (Lusa) - East Timor's Petroleum Fund stood at over USD 508 million at the end of March, the new nation's Banking and Payment Authority (ABP) announced Friday.

In a statement, the ABP said the balance of the fund, resulting from oil revenues from Jan. 1 to March 31, was being held in US treasury bonds and interest on the sum totaled USD 4.1 million.

Set up in 2005 and modeled on a Norwegian initiative, Dili's petroleum fund aims to ensure transparent management of hydrocarbon earnings from the Timor Sea joint exploration zone run with Australia, as well as Timor's own oil and gas fields.

The ABP, Timor's future central bank, is tasked with managing the fund, which it is estimated could generate USD 5 billion in the next 20 years.



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