Jakarta, MINA – Australia and Timor Leste now have a permanent maritime border following the signing of a treaty in New York on Wednesday that determines each nation`s entitlement and ownership of the rich oil and gas reserves in Timor Sea, including the untapped Greater Sunrise Basin.
The signing of the treaty between the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste and Australia on maritime zones in the Timor Sea through the Conciliation Commission, based on mechanism under the UNCLOS 1982 on Wednesday determines each nation’s entitlement and ownership of the rich oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea, including the untapped Greater Sunrise basin, estimated to hold $53bn worth of gas reserves, the Guardian reported.
Indonesian Government welcomes the use of any peaceful means under the UNCLOS 1982 in settling outstanding maritime delimitation between the two Countries, Indonesian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The final agreement marks the maritime border around the median line between the two countries – a concept supported by international law.
“Due to its confidentiality, the Indonesian Government would examine the details of the signed Treaty in due course when the Treaty and its related documents have been made published,” the statement added.
It also added, Indonesian Government reserves all its rights against any outcomes that might potentially affect the sovereign rights of Indonesian under the UNCLOS 1982.
The treaty recognises the rights of both nations, and establishes a special regime for the joint development, exploitation and management of the Greater Sunrise gas fields.
Under the treaty the two countries agreed to share upstream revenue from Greater Sunrise, but failed to come to an arrangement on the split.
Australia has pushed for 80% of revenue to flow to the Timorese, but with the gas piped to Darwin for processing. Timor-Leste has offered to take 70% but in return for the gas being piped to Timor-Leste for processing instead.
Borders will also be adjusted in the event particular gas fields are depleted or Timor-Leste and Indonesia come to their own agreement on continental shelf borders.
The treaty was the result of the first-ever conciliation under the UN convention on the law of the sea, brought by Timor-Leste, which was angry at revelations Australian spies had allegedly bugged the offices of Timorese officials during previous negotiations.(T/RE1/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)