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    Oz Approves East Timor Border Deal


The legislature establishes maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Oz Approves East Timor Border Deal

Australian parliament July 29 passed a legislation that is expected to pave the way for development of the Greater Sunrise gas field in Timor Sea.

The Timor Sea Maritime Boundaries Treaty Consequential Amendments Bill 2019 implements the treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste (East Timor) establishing their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea that was signed in New York in March 2018. The bill amends 25 acts to permanently delimit the continental shelf boundary and the exclusive economic zone boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste; allow for a future adjustment of the lateral continental shelf boundaries subject to specific conditions being met; and establish the Greater Sunrise Special Regime in the Special Regime Area.

In April this year, the government of East Timor completed the purchase of ConocoPhillips' 30% interest and Shell Australia's 26.56% interest in the Greater Sunrise fields, giving Timor Gap, the national oil company of Timor-Leste, a 56.56% interest in the fields. The government agreed in November 2018 to pay Shell $300mn for its 26.56% stake in the Greater Sunrise field, a little over one month after it agreed to pay ConocoPhillips $350mn for its 30% interest in the same asset.

Australia's Woodside operates the undeveloped Greater Sunrise project with a 33.44% interest, while the other non-state partner is Japan's Osaka Gas with 10%. The fields, 150 km southeast offshore Timor Leste and 450 km northwest of Darwin in Australia, were discovered in 1974 and hold gross contingent resources of 5.13 trillion ftof gas and 225.9mn barrels of condensate.