Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a young country that only gained its independence in 2002. However, the country has a long history of oil exploration and production, dating back to the 1970s. The Timor Sea, which separates Timor-Leste from Australia, is home to significant oil and gas reserves, and the country is working to develop its resources to spur economic growth and development.
Production capacity and current production
According to the Timor-Leste National Petroleum and Mineral Authority (ANPM), the country has estimated oil reserves of 8.3 billion barrels, and estimated natural gas reserves of 324 billion cubic meters. These reserves are spread across several offshore fields, including the Greater Sunrise Field, the Bayu-Undan Field, and the Kitan Field. Timor-Leste’s current oil production is around 60,000 barrels per day, with the majority coming from the Bayu-Undan Field.
Furthermore, Timor-Leste’s current oil production capacity is estimated to be around 125,000 barrels per day. The country’s largest oil field, the Bayu-Undan field, currently produces approximately 28,000 barrels of oil per day, while the Kitan field produces around 10,000 barrels per day. In addition, the Greater Sunrise field has estimated reserves of 5.13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is expected to produce 3.7 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per year.
Operators and current investment
Timor-Leste has attracted significant investment in recent years, particularly in its oil and gas sector. Woodside Energy, an Australian company, is the largest investor in the country’s oil and gas industry, with a 33.4% stake in the Greater Sunrise field. Other major players in the industry include ConocoPhillips, which has a 30% stake in the Bayu-Undan field, and Eni, which has a 12.4% stake in the Greater Sunrise field. Other companies operating in Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector include Shell, Total, and Petronas.
In addition to oil and gas, Timor-Leste has also attracted investment in renewable energy sources. The government has announced plans to develop a 200MW solar farm, which is expected to attract significant investment in the solar industry.
The government of Timor-Leste has implemented policies aimed at promoting foreign investment in the country’s energy sector. The country’s regulatory framework provides for the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas, with a focus on promoting transparency and good governance. The government has also established the Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund, which is designed to manage the country’s oil and gas revenues and promote sustainable economic development.
Overall, Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector is a key driver of economic growth and development for the country, and its success will be crucial in ensuring a sustainable future for the country and its people.
Greater Sunrise Field
The Greater Sunrise Field is one of the largest untapped oil and gas fields in the world, with estimated reserves of around 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 225 million barrels of condensate. In 2019, Timor-Leste and Australia signed a deal to develop the field, with Woodside Energy as the operator. The project is expected to bring in billions of dollars in revenue for Timor-Leste over the next few decades.
The Bayu-Undan Field is one of Timor-Leste’s largest producing oil and gas fields. The field has estimated reserves of around 400 million barrels of oil and 3.4 trillion cubic feet of gas. The field is operated by ConocoPhillips and Eni, and has been producing since 2004. The field is expected to continue producing for several more years.
The Kitan Field is a smaller producing oil and gas field, with estimated reserves of around 46 million barrels of oil and 222 billion cubic feet of gas. The field is operated by Eni, and has been producing since 2010. The field is expected to continue producing for several more years.
Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector is facing several key trends that are shaping the industry. One of the biggest trends is the shift towards renewable energy. As the world becomes more focused on reducing carbon emissions, Timor-Leste will need to balance its oil and gas production with the need to develop renewable energy sources. The country has already taken steps in this direction, with the government announcing plans to develop the aforementioned 200MW solar farm in the near future.
Another trend in Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector is the push for local content development. The government has implemented policies aimed at increasing local employment and procurement in the industry, with the goal of promoting economic development and reducing dependence on foreign expertise and resources.
Finally, Timor-Leste is also facing the challenge of ensuring sustainable management of its natural resources. The country has implemented policies aimed at promoting environmental protection and sustainable development, including the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to ensure the long-term management of its oil and gas revenue.
Set for the future
In conclusion, Timor-Leste has significant potential in the oil and gas exploration and production industry, with estimated reserves of 8.3 billion barrels of oil and 324 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The country is already a major player in the global market, with current oil production of 60,000 barrels per day and natural gas production of 1.7 million cubic feet per day.
Timor-Leste has attracted significant investment in recent years, with major energy players such as Woodside Energy, ConocoPhillips, and Eni operating in the country’s oil and gas sector. The development of the Greater Sunrise Field is expected to bring in billions of dollars in revenue for the country over the next few decades.
However, Timor-Leste also faces several challenges in the industry, including the need to balance oil and gas production with the development of renewable energy sources, the push for local content development, and the challenge of ensuring sustainable management of its natural resources.
Overall, Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector is an important driver of economic growth and development for the country, and its success will be crucial in ensuring a sustainable future for the country and its people.
All of the aforementioned topics of discussion will be covered later this year during the 5th 5th Timor-Leste Energy & Mining Summit, taking place in October 2023 in Dili.
The summit will present a unique platform for networking that will bring together existing and future operators in the energy and gas industries, renewables and mining companies in Timor Leste and the region. New investors and service providers will meet with the government to find the best ways to take part in the country’s growing energy opportunities, and make the most out of the upcoming energy projects and net-zero initiatives.
This event has been previously co-hosted by Santos, sponsored by TimorGAP, BNCTL, Caltech, Balloré, Woodside Energy, among many other companies, and was fully supported by ANPM.