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Timor-Leste: 2nd Oil and Gas Licensing Round

In October 2019 the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) launched the county’s second licensing round, releasing a total of 18 new blocks for public tender, covering a large percentage of the total on and offshore area of the country.
This article appeared in Vol. 17, No. 1 - 2020

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Timor-Leste: 2nd Oil and Gas Licensing Round

In October 2019 the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) launched the county’s second licensing round, releasing a total of 18 new blocks for public tender for Production Sharing Contracts (PSC), covering a large percentage of the total on and offshore area of the country.

  • Location map showing onshore and offshore blocks in the Timor-Leste 2nd licensing round.

Timor-Leste: Onshore Blocks

Seven of the offered blocks are onshore. They cover all the northern and eastern halves of the country, a total of nearly 10,000 km2, with the largest covering the whole eastern end of the country. Of the remaining four onshore blocks in the country, two have been reserved for Timor Gap, the National Oil Company of Timor-Leste, and two are already the subject of PSCs. The whole onshore area has been covered by both gravity and magnetic surveys and data is available on 20 wells.

Timor-Leste: Offshore Blocks

The remaining 11 new blocks are in the offshore area to the south of the country, in the Timor Sea. They lie in waters that increase rapidly to depths of nearly 3,000m in the narrow Timor Trench, about 50 km from the south coast, before shallowing towards the Timor Shelf where the water depths are about 200m. The blocks encompass over 50,000 km2 in total, the largest being Block R in the south-west, which covers 6,522 km2. Offshore data includes details of 80 wells and the whole offshore area is covered by 2D seismic of varying densities, as well as a number of 3D surveys.

Timor-Leste was recognised as an independent country in 2002 after decades of fighting against Indonesian occupation. The first licensing round was held in 2005/2006, but further rounds were delayed due to a territorial dispute with Australia, which was finally resolved in August 2019. Several fields, including Bayu Undan (350–400 MMbc and 3.4 Tcfg) and Buffalo (31 MMbo) were transferred to Timor Leste’s exclusive jurisdiction as a result of this agreement, while the Greater Sunrise fields, which contain about 5 Tcfg, will be jointly developed by the two countries.

Roadshows will be held in Houston, London, Singapore and Perth and bids must be submitted by 9 October 2020, with the successful bids due to be announced on 4 December 2020. No signature bonus is expected and general terms call for full cost recovery, 5% royalty, 60:40 profit split in favour of operators and 30% income tax.

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