Timor-Leste

Map

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PROJECT

Discussions between the interim government of Timor-Leste and Norwegian authorities concerning support in developing the energy sector started in 2001. An agreement for the first programme was signed in February 2003 and the institutional cooperation contract between the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) and the Ministry of Development and Environment was signed in September the same year. In 2006, the programme was expanded to include support to the public petroleum finance sector.

A new cooperation programme was discussed and prepared during 2007 and 2008, and a programme agreement for a new phase of cooperation between Norway and Timor-Leste was signed in May 2008. The phase II programme includes support within resource, environment and revenue management.

A Programme Coordinator was hired to coordinate the total activities of the programme both on the Timor-Leste and the Norwegian sides. The programme has made extensive use of resident advisors.

 

ACTIVITIES IN 2010

 

Human resources

One student completed a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Stavanger in March 2010 and was appointed Acreage Release & Promotion Director at ANP (The National Petroleum Authority) in May. Five Timorese Master students on Norwegian scholarships are currently in Norway (Bodø, Trondheim, Stavanger). In addition, three students have been selected for Master’s studies in Norway starting in August 2011, if qualified.

Furthermore, Timorese students are also undertaking studies in Australia, Indonesia and Thailand. One student has been accepted for Master studies in Malaysia with start-up in 2011.

Finally, three Timorese – one from SERN and two from ANP – participated in Petrad’s eight-week programme on Petroleum Policy and Resource Management in Stavanger.

 

Resource management

The Programme organized a visit to Norway in August for a delegation headed by the State Secretary of Natural Resources, Alfredo Pires. The aim of the visit was to build capacity within petroleum resource management on issues including good governance, national oil companies, local content, gas markets and gas transportation.

ANP was provided support in areas such as resource assessment and geological advice, data management/archive system, a variety of legal issues, fiscal metering and assessment of the Concept Studies for the Greater Sunrise Field.

Seminars and workshops were arranged in Dili on data management and fiscal measurement of oil and gas. Several lectures on legal issues were held in Dili on petroleum resource management and public international law in a petroleum perspective. In September an intense ten-day training session on acreage release was held at the NPD offices in Norway for the Acreage Release & Promotion Director at the ANP. Finally, three ANP lawyers had a two week internship period at Simonsen law firm in September.

 

Financial management

The long-standing challenge in conducting field audits of oil companies was resolved in August by the new Petroleum Tax Adviser, who found that Timor-Leste can compel the taxpayers to maintain copies of their books and records in Timor-Leste. A comprehensive audit of taxpayers was initiated in November and is ongoing. A record amount of USD 36.7 million was collected in audit revenue in 2010.

Timor-Leste was accepted as the third EITI compliant country in the world on July 1st. Support has been provided through the Programme also in 2010 to ensure that Timor-Leste continues to meet the criteria to be an EITI compliant country.

Progress has been made in terms of diversifying the Petroleum Fund portfolio, including hiring the Fund’s first equity manager. Trading in stocks started in early October 2010. Preparations to further diversify the portfolio were initiated. Considerable work has also been done on amending the Petroleum Fund Law, which is expected to be submitted to Parliament in the 2nd of 2011. Several workshops have been held, including a two-day international seminar in May 2010.

 

Environment

The first Environment Adviser started her work in the Directorate for Environment (DNMA) in the State Secretariat for Environment (SEMA) in September 2010. During the autumn of 2010, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out for the first two drilling activities in Timor-Leste Exclusive Area. Advice was provided concerning the legal framework, use of EIA guidelines and on clarifying the roles and responsibilities for Health, Safety and Environment (HSE). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SEMA/DNMA and SERN/ANP was signed in December 2010 for cooperation in HSE matters.

 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2010

 

Timor-Leste achieved the status of an EITI compliant country in July 2010.

The long-standing legal challenge of compelling taxpayers to maintain copies of their books and records in Timor-Leste to facilitate audit of oil companies, was resolved in 2010. A comprehensive audit of selected taxpayers started in November 2010. A record amount of USD 36.7 million was collected in audit revenue in 2010.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out for the first two drilling activities in Timor-Leste Exclusive Area. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SEMA/DNMA and SERN/ANP was signed in December 2010 for cooperation in HSE matters.

A Timorese Master student on Norwegian scholarship graduated from the University of Stavanger and was appointed Acreage Release & Promotion Director at ANP in May 2010. 


05.07.2011