Management of geological resources under analysis at the 4th International Conference on Geoscience

Mon. 29 of Outubro of 2018, 18:15h

The Institute of Petroleum and Geology (IPG) organized the 4th International Geoscience Conference on "Geological data and information for the diversification of the economy" at the Dili Convention Center from October 23 to 26.

During the four days of the conference, the themes presented by national and international experts included "governing geological resources for the development of Timor-Leste", "geological research data and information for the country's economic development", "sustainability in the management of geological resources and economic development” and “economic growth and volatility of geological resources and geological hazards”.

The Minister of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Agio Pereira, in his opening address, acknowledged and thanked the work done by "the leaders and teams of the National Petroleum and Mineral Authority (ANPM), Timor Gap and the IPG, who work daily to strengthen Timor-Leste's capacities and strengthen our country's position".

Agio Pereira said it was "crucial today that Timor-Leste collects and possesses accurate and reliable scientific data and analyzes of the country's geological resources so that the nation's economic development can be addressed in an informed, rational and enlightened manner".

The Minister of State also noted that the signing of the Maritime Boundary Treaty on March 6th, 2018 "created a positive environment for business and attracted new interest in participating in oil and gas exploration in the Timor Sea" and that " the recent move by the Government of Timor-Leste to acquire ConocoPhillips' stake in the Sunrise joint venture now places Timor-Leste in a more advantageous position for direct engagement as a business partner with the other partners of the joint venture as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure a natural gas liquefaction unit on the East Timorese coast".

The official announced that "an inaugural oil and gas exploration program has been launched for blocks A and C on the south coast of East Timor," which "marks an important milestone for the onshore exploration of oil resources in the country". He added that "the ANPM is preparing to launch in 2019 a new round of bids for oil and gas exploration onshore as well as for a broader offshore area after the ratification of the Maritime Boundary Treaty. For this purpose, the ANPM offshore department recently acquired 2D broadband seismic equipment to map the relevant areas".

Agio Pereira hopes that the first Timor-Leste Mining Code, prepared by the ANPM and in the process of finalization, "can be approved by Parliament and adopted as a law so that Timor-Leste can offer clear and convincing terms and conditions to investors, while at the same time meeting the country's aspirations to obtain maximum revenues and benefits from each phase of mining activities".

In his speech, the President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, "recognized the extreme importance of rigorous and reliable geological studies to increase knowledge about the country's natural resources so that they can be used sustainably and contribute to the development".

The Head of the Negotiating Team of the Council for the Definitive Delimitation of Maritime Borders, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, emphasized the importance of carrying out studies on mineral resources and conducting conferences in this area in order to be able to effectively evaluate and explore national resources, "adding that" before we can develop the oil and minerals industry, we need to understand existing resources".

The former President of the Republic said that he believes "that the future of the country depends, above all, not on material resources, but on the people" and that the national talent present at this conference is a positive and encouraging sign of our achievements in the growth of the oil sector and the meeting of geotechnical experts at this conference shows the wealth of relevant knowledge and skills we have already developed here in Timor-Leste".

Xanana Gusmão also said that "Timor-Leste's future will be shaped by the way it manages and uses its resources", stating that "throughout the island, initial exploration showed clear evidence of sub-surface underground systems of mineral and oil deposits, many of which are yet to be discovered". He also assured that Timor-Leste intends to "make the most of its geological fortune".