06 August 2008

East Timor National Petroleum Authority



Díli, August 4, 2008

Secretary of State for Natural Resources, Alfredo Pires, opens the National Petroleum Authority

Today, the Secretary of State for Natural Resources, Alfredo Pires, officiated over the inaugural launch of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). The newly established independent body charged with the regulation of the petroleum sector marks the end of the Timor Sea Designated Authority, which was operated jointly for the past six years by Australia and Timor-Leste.

The event was celebrated as a milestone for the nation in protecting and preserving the natural resources for future generations. The NPA, which is totally run by timorese, is the first of three professional organizations to be launched as part of the Government’s institutional reform program for the petroleum sector. The Institute of Petroleum and Geology and the Timor-Leste National Oil Company will be established to provide the nation with the strong foundations needed for sector growth.

Alfredo Pires opened by saying “today we can define the terms and conditions of our growth and success, working together with our partners in the Timor Sea to establish a new working benchmark for collaborative participation in development”.

“In Timor-Leste we do not speak of the Petroleum sector in terms of revenues, profits or loss, we speak in terms of infrastructure, education, agriculture and national stability; in the purest terms, our stakeholders are the Timorese, the beneficiaries of the natural resources”.

Timor-Leste’s economy depends heavily on the revenues generated from the oil and gas interests to fund the General State Budget. Timor-Leste, the poorest nation in Asia, averages 200 million in revenues per month from natural resources.

Alfredo Pires continued his address by noting that the Timorese have many options in development, “take Greater Sunrise by example, there are many options, but each option needs to be in consultation with, and in the best interest of, our citizens; which means we are charged with getting as much comprehensive and detailed information available to make appropriate decisions”.

“Take Greater Sunrise by example, there are many options. There is the Timor option, the Darwin option, the floating LNG option and the fourth option is to preserve the resources for another generation of Timorese”.

Alfredo Pires stated he is confident that the new vehicles to promote sector best practice will empower Timor-Leste to navigate the complexities of the international oil industry, while maintaining the national objectives. ***

Post sponsored by East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste.

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