JDA in Timor Sea Now 'Open for Business'

The remainder of the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the Timor Sea is now open for business with the Australian and East Timorese Governments finalising a Petroleum Mining Code and model Production Sharing Contract.

Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has agreed to the documents on behalf of the Australian Government with East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

The 2002 Timor Sea Treaty, along with the Code and model Contract , governs the exploration, development and exploitation of petroleum within the JPDA.

"In practical terms, agreement to the Code and model Contract ensures companies have certainty of conditions under which to take up acreage for exploration and development within the JPDA," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"This announcement opens the door to business in an area which is estimated to hold recoverable gas reserves of more than 5 trillion cubic feet and 500 million barrels of oil, condensate and liquefied petroleum gas," he said.

The new PMC and PSC will apply to new contract areas currently advertised in the Timor Sea Designated Authority's Acreage Release 2006. The interim PMC and PSCs will continue to regulate the exploration, development and exploitation of petroleum within existing releases.

"Implementation of these two instruments will benefit both countries as companies begin to develop the remainder of the JPDA. In particular, the documents will assist the development and economic prosperity of one of our closest neighbors."

"This is the certainty investors have been seeking and I look forward to hearing of companies exploring the opportunity this development provides," he said.

Natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel in the world, accounting for one quarter of the world's primary energy consumption.

Global demand is projected to grow to 4.9 trillion cubic meters per annum by 2030.

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