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Timor-Leste and Australia Agree Border Treaty

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By MarEx 2018-02-27 18:49:02

Timor-Leste and Australia have agreed to settle their maritime border dispute and have mapped out a pathway for the development of the Greater Sunrise offshore gas field.

The Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields, collectively known as Greater Sunrise, are located approximately 150 kilometers (90 miles) south east of Timor-Leste and 450 kilometers (280 miles) north west of Darwin, Australia, in waters up to 600 meters deep. Approximately 20 percent of the Greater Sunrise fields are situated in the Joint Development Petroleum Area, jointly administered by Timor-Leste and Australia, while 80 percent are in Australian waters.

Australia had sought a boundary aligned with its continental shelf, but East Timor argued the border should lie half way between it and Australia - placing much of the Greater Sunrise fields under its control. 

Greater Sunrise was discovered in 1974, and it is estimated that the fields contain 5.1 trillion cubic feet of LNG and 226 million barrels of condensate. Woodside Petroleum is operator in the project and has a 33.44 percent share. Development partners include Royal Dutch Shell (26.56 percent), ConocoPhillips (three percent) and Osaka Gas (10 percent). In 2010, Woodside announced its preference for using a FLNG processing plant.

Under the agreement made in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the share of revenue from the offshore gas field will differ depending on downstream benefits that arise from different development concepts. East Timor has been pushing for an onshore gas processing plant rather than a floating plant. According to some media reports, East Timor could receive up to 80 percent of the field's revenue, but may agree to less if gas is piped to a shoreside plant.

The two governments will meet at the United Nations headquarters on March 6 to sign the new maritime boundary treaty.