Timor-Leste

EITI Status Satisfactory progress
Joined EITI in 2008
Latest Data From 2016
Latest Validation 2018
Last updated 10 February 2021

Overview

Timor-Leste’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas. According to the latest EITI Report, the oil and gas sector accounted for over 90% of the country’s revenues in 2016 and 2017 but is expected to see a decline in the following years as production from existing fields draw to a close.  As a consequence of the higher oil prices (even with a decrease in the production) the revenues generated from Oil & Gas Sector in 2018, including the amount received from the subcontractors, amounted to USD556 million. This value represents an increase of USD93 million, or 20% compared to 2017.

In 2018, all of Timor-Leste's oil and gas was produced in BayuUndan (BU) oil field, located in the offshore Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA).

Oil production has been decreasing since 2012 due to the natural depletion of the BU field. There is considerable public debate about expenditure exceeding the annual allowable amount that can be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund.

All of Timor-Leste's revenue from the oil sector  is deposited in the Petroleum Fund, which had a balance of USD15, 804 million by the end of 2018.

The EITI Reports track how much of the Petroleum Fund is transferred annually to Timor-Leste's budget.

Extractive industries contribution

  • 36 %
    to GDP
  • 98 %
    to exports
  • 91 %
    to government revenue

Beneficial ownership disclosure

While there is no publicly available register of beneficial owners of corporate entities in Timor-Leste, the 2018 TL-EITI Report provides information on accessing the ultimate owners of companies included in the scope of the EITI Report. As most extractive companies operating in the country are publicly listed companies, the links to the stock exchanges where they are listed are provided in the report. 

In October 2019, a beneficial ownership feasibility study was conducted, establishing a definition of BO and outlining steps needed for BO disclosures to be fully in line with requirement 2.5 of the EITI Standard, including establishing a public registry for BO disclosures.

 

Production

Oil and gas production in Timor-Leste has declined since 2012 mainly due to natural depletion of the Bayu-Undan field and the closure of Kitan field in December 2015. Oil and gas production has decreased from 41 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2017 to 38 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2018.

In 2018, all of Timor Leste's oil and gas was produced in Bayu-Undan oil field, located in the offshore Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA).

Natural resources

Timor-Leste’s main resources are oil and gas. To date, all exploration and production have taken place offshore in the Timor Sea. One of the major discoveries in the Timor Sea is the Greater Sunrise field, which is partly located within the JPDA and partly outside the JPDA within Australia’s exclusive jurisdiction. In April 2019, the government of Timor Leste, through Timor GAP, purchased 56.56% of the Greater Sunrise gas and condensate, held by Conocophilips (30%) and Shell (26.56%). Woodside still holds a percentage of the fields.

Timor-Leste also has undeveloped mineral resources including copper, gold, silver and chromite. These minerals have been difficult to access given the poor infrastructure in the country. On 19 February 2014, the government improved the mining licensing process through the amendment of the Ministerial Diploma No. 1/2008. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of mining licenses in 2015. 

Revenue collection

The latest EITI disclosures show that in 2018, Timor Leste's oil revenues were 556 million dollars. a value twice higher than in 2016 (with 2016 having the lowest value in the last 8 years.) In comparison with 2016 the high result was derived
from the higher oil prices, which were boosted by the strong global demand and producers agreeing to cut production. Petroleum taxes contributed about 51% of the revenues while 48% came from royalty and profit oil revenue. 

Initializing chart.

Revenue allocation

All of Timor-Leste’s oil and gas revenues are deposited in the Petroleum Fund. A majority is invested abroad in financial assets. In 2018 the Fund’s balance has decreased USD 996 million (from USD16,799 million in 2017 to USD15,804 million). 

Petroleum revenues and investment returns contributed 447 million USD  to the Fund in 2018, according to the latest EITI report. The total withdrawal of 982 million USD from the Fund was used to finance the Government’s budget. 

The implications for the Petroleum Fund’s investment strategy are carefully considered and are summarized in the Petroleum Fund’s Annual Report section “the advice from the Investment Advisory Board”. The Annual Reports are published on the Ministry of Finance’s website. 

Policy recommendations and reforms

Like other reports, the latest (2018) report provides recommendations to improve transparency in the sector.

These include the establishment of a database of all extractive companies operating in the oil sector, advancing on beneficial ownership disclosure and mainstreaming, addressing confidentiality provisions in PSCs and the enactment of an EITI Law.

Innovations

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. Timor Leste is considering moving towards mainstreaming of EITI data and has worked with the International Secretariat in conducting a feasibility study for mainstreaming. The  government maintains a Transparency Portal which links EITI implementation to wider transparency and accountability in the country. This includes a Budget Transparency Portal which gives 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. 

Implementation

Timor-Leste joined the EITI in 2008. 

While Timor-Leste was suspended on 1 March 2017 for failing to publish the 2014 EITI Report by 31 December 2016, the suspension was lifted on 29 June 2017after the publication of the missing report. 

In January 2017, Timor-Leste was found to have achieved meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard and the MSWG was given until 11 April 2017 to submit an action to plan to address the corrective actions relating to industry engagement and civil society engagement. On 14 February 2018, the EITI Board found that Timor-Leste addressed all corrective actions and has made satisfactory progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard.  

View more information under the Validation section of this page or go to the Board's decision in full

The MSWG's work plan contains the following objectives:

  1. To ensure the publication of EITI Report in a timely manner and in accordance with EITI Standard 2019;
  2. To encourage discussions on transparency in public expenditures, including investment decisions focus on economic diversification;
  3. To encourage discussions on legal framework and maintain contract transparency within extractive industries and other revenues generated in Timor-Leste; and
  4. To enhance EITI institutional development include capacity building for MSWG and National Secretariat members

Governance

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources oversees EITI implementation in Timor-Leste. A list of MSWG members is available in the 2018 annual progress report of Timor-Leste EITI. While no changes in law were needed for EITI to take place in Timor-Leste, the MSWG recommends enacting an EITI law.

 

Name of National Coordinator: 

Ms Elda Guterres da Silva

Ministries involved

  • Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
  • Ministry of Finance
  • National Petroleum and Mineral Authorities (ANPM)

 

Timeline

Validation

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 Re-validation will commence in July 2021. 

Timor-Leste's progress by requirement can be found in the scorecards below.

Timor-Leste's progress by requirement

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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.