This EITI Report covers Timor-Leste's extractive sector in 2015. It was published in December 2017.
Timor-Leste’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas. According to the latest EITI Report, the oil sector accounted for 76% of the country’s GDP and 98% of exports in 2013. The top five producing companies already account for 97% of government revenues. Production is rapidly declining and exploration activities are limited, giving rise to discussions on the need for economic diversification. Timor-Leste’s revenues are currently under pressure by low oil prices, but the impact on budget may not be that dramatic in the short-term as return on petroleum fund investments can cover the budget deficit. Nonetheless, there is considerable public debate about expenditure and exceeding the annual allowable amount that can be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund.
All of Timor-Leste's revenue from the oil sector – USD 3.05 billion in 2013 according to the 2013 EITI Report - is deposited in the Petroleum Fund, which amounted to US $16.5 billion in March 2016 (www.eiti.tl). The EITI Reports track how much of the Petroleum Fund is transferred annually to Timor-Leste's budget.
Petroleum activities take place both in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) and in the Timor-Leste Exclusive Area (TLEA). The tax regime applicable to petroleum activities depend on the jurisdiction area, but profit oil, first tranche petroleum, royalties and corporate income tax are the main levies. FTP is a form of royalty collected for Bayu-Undan only. Royalty was paid in relation to Kitan until it ceased operations in 2015. Profit oil and gas is applicable to both Bayu-Undan and Kitan fields.The Timor Sea Treaty stipulates that Australia is entitled to 10% of all petroleum produced in the JPDA while 90% belongs to Timor-Leste. The National Petroleum Authorities (NPA) regulates the sector. A state-owned company, TIMOR GAP, was created in 2011 to represent the State’s interests in petroleum activities. All taxes go directly to the Petroleum Fund. All Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) are public except for PSCs regulated under the Interim Mining Petroleum Code such as Bayu Undan and Greater Sunrise.
The National Petroleum Authorities awards Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) in both the JPDA and the TLEA on the basis of competitive bidding. The two main projects are the Bayu-Undan field and, until recently, the Kitan field which closed in 2015. In 2013, the government awarded a new PSC - JPDA 11-106 - to ENI, INPEX and TIMOR GAP. The contract was awarded through direct negotiations rather than competitive bidding, given ENI’s knowledge of the contract area and the desire to give the national oil company an opportunity to participate.
Timor-Leste’s 2013 EITI Report states that most companies operating in the country are publicly listed. It gives listings information for the key operators in the country: Conoco Phillips, ENI and Woodside. Nonetheless, the MSWG is currently finalising the draft beneficial ownership roadmap that aims at documenting list of actions towards full beneficial ownership disclosures of extractive companies in Timor-Leste.
Oil and gas production in 2013 declined by 12% compared to 2012, mainly due to depletion of the Kitan field. With Kitan's closure in 2015, Bayu-Undan is the only remaining producing field in Timor-Leste. According to forecasts in the EITI Report, operations at Bayu-Undan will last until 2022. There is limited exploration activity. According to the National Petroleum Authorities, five development wells were drilled in 2014. Whilst some wells were immediately brought on-stream, others were unsuccessful.
Hydrocarbons accounted for 98% of exports in 2013.
Timor-Leste’s main resources are oil and gas. To date all exploration and production has taken place offshore in the Timor Sea. The Greater Sunrise gas fields could yield US$15 bn or so over 30 years, but there is no agreement yet on how to develop the field.
Timor-Leste also has undeveloped mineral resources including copper, gold, silver and chromite. However, these minerals have to date been difficult to access given the poor infrastructure in the country and the lack of a legal framework. The government is currently working on a Mineral Policy.
The latest EITI disclosures (2013) show that Timor-Leste received US $3.042 billion from oil and gas. The reduction in revenue was mainly due to falling production as well as a reduction of income tax payments and penalties. Revenues were mainly collected through profit oil and gas (57%) and income tax (19%). The hydrocarbon sector accounted for 76% of GDP in 2013.
All of Timor-Leste’s oil and gas revenue is deposited in the Petroleum Fund. Of the total Petroleum Fund receipts of USD 3.042 billion in 2013, USD 730 million was transferred to the budget. The 2013 EITI Report shows that for the first time, the withdrawals from the Petroleum Fund to finance the state budget – USD 760m - were less than the investment return. There are no sub-national payments or transfers.
The 2013 EITI Report revealed that the recommendations presented in the 2012 EITI Report were not followed through and suggested that the Timor-Leste’s multi-stakeholder group follows through with the recommendations presented. It also suggested that the TL multi-stakeholder group considers an establishment of a database with all extractive companies operating in the oil sector.
The EITI encourages multi-stakeholder groups to explore innovative approaches to make the EITI more relevant and useful.
The EITI process in Timor-Leste has been useful in disclosing the status of the Petroleum Fund and how it is transferred to the national budget. Looking ahead, stakeholders in Timor-Leste have suggested that the EITI could add more value if it covered budget execution, verifying that the money is spent on what it is supposed to be spent on.
With its current efforts to entrench transparency in government systems, Timor-Leste could lead the way in mainstreaming EITI disclosures. There are several examples of how government agencies are making data about the extractive sector transparent through government websites and other routine disclosures. The Transparency Portal that was created by the government of Timor-Leste links EITI implementation to wider transparency and accountability in the country. This includes a Budget Transparency Portal which gives an oversight to budget expenditure. Up-to-date information on the legal framework, licensing, contracts, production, social expenditures and non-tax revenues is also available through the website of the ANPM. The Petroleum Fund website contains quarterly reports on revenues and the overall status of the fund, as well as annual reports that include budget allocations. Timor Gap’s website has information on the financial situation of the company as well as other activities. The government of Timor-Leste has expressed strong interest in continuing mainstreaming transparency.
On 1 March Timor-Leste was suspended for failing to meet reporting deadline of the EITI 2014 Report (the deadline was 31 December 2016). In accordance with the EITI Standard, the suspension will be lifted if Timor Leste is able to publish an EITI Report by 30 June 2017.
In January 2017, Timor-Leste was found to have achieved meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard. View more information under the Validation section of this page or go to the Board's decision in full. Previously, the country was compliant under the 2011 Rules.
The multi-stakeholder group (MSWG) approved a work plan for 2016 on 4 March 2016 which contains the following priorities:
- Ensure publication of TL EITI report in a timely manner and in accordance with the EITI Standard;
- Encourage discussions on transparency in public expenditures, including investment decisions, focusing on economic diversification;
- Reform the legal framework and maintain contract transparency within extractive industries and other revenues generated in Timor-Leste; and
- Institutional development for TL EITI secretariat, including capacity building for the MSG and outreach activities
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources oversees EITI implementation in Timor-Leste. Alfredo Pires, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is the EITI Champion and Chair of the MSG. The EITI coordinator, Ms Elda Guterres da Silva, supports implementation on a day-to-day basis. The Multi-Stakeholder Working Group (MSWG) is composed of five civil society representatives, four industry representatives and eight government representatives. A list of MSWG members is available in the 2015 Annual Activity Report. Minutes are available from the TL-EITI website. No changes in law were needed for EITI to take place in Timor-Leste, nor were special Memoranda of Understanding required between government and industry for this purpose. However, the MSG is currently involved in drafting an EITI law.
Timor-Leste was found to have made satisfactory progress in meeting the EITI Standard on 14 February 2018. The country was previously found to have made meaningful progress on 11 January 2017 during the First Validation. Timor-Leste took corrective actions on a number of requirements and achieved satisfactory progress during the Second Validation.
Timor-Leste's progress by requirement can be found in the scorecards below.
Scorecards show the outcomes of Validation. Arrows of progress indicate where the International Secretariat has re-assessed a requirement following a corrective action in a second or third Validation.
This EITI Report covers Timor-Leste's extractive sector in 2014. It was published in June 2017.
The Annual Progress Report provides an overview of all EITI Timor-Leste's activities during 2016.
Timor-Leste's Validation commenced on 01 July 2016. On January 11 2017, the EITI Board found that Timor-Leste has made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard
The following documentation laid the basis for the Board's decision, attached below:
Initial data collection by the International SecretariatComments by the multi-stakeholder group (MSG) on the initial data collectionValidation Report by the independent Validator SDSG (
Attached below is Timor-Leste's roadmap on how it intends to disclose the beneficial owners of the companies active in the extractives sector (requirement 2.5).
More information on beneficial ownership can be found at eiti.org/beneficial-ownership.
This EITI Report covers Timor-Leste's extractive sector in 2013. It was published in December 2015.
This is the Timor-Leste EITI 2014 Annual Progress Report (in accordance with Requirements 7.4 and 8.4).
This is the Timor-Leste EITI 2014 work plan (in accordance with Requirement 1.5).
This Timor-Leste EITI Validation report was published in March 2010.
Mr Alfredo PIRES
Since 2007, Mr. Alfredo Pires has served as the Secretary of State for Natural Resources in Timor-Leste and is responsible for petroleum and mineral resources. Prior to this,
EITI responsibilities: Support to EITI implementation and outreach in Asia.
Prior to joining the EITI in 2009, Dyveke worked for Xstrata Nickel in the Dominican Republic and at the Center for Development Studies at the University of Agder.
Olesia supports Asia team at the International Secretariat.
Olesia holds bachelor’s degree in Economic Theory from Ukraine and MSc in Strategic Marketing Management from Norway.