Antara , Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara | Wed, 05/28/2008 7:38 PM | Business
The western part of the Timor Sea in East Nusa Tenggara province holds a huge gas deposit of up to 10 trillion cubic feet (TCF), an activist for Timor issues said Wednesday.
“The gas reserves were found by Inpex Masela Ltd when conducting a survey some time ago,” said Ferdi Tanoni, director of the West Timor Care Foundation (YPTB).
Inpex Masela is a Pertamina work contract (KKS) partner. They completed the survey of the Masela block located off the coast of the western part of NTT.
Ferdi said he hoped the government would order Inpex Masela to begin exploiting the gas deposits so that they could be utilized immediately.
He asked the oil and gas regulating body BP Migas to involve local administrations and the people in the development of the gas reserves to benefit local residents.
He said he had received a report through YPTB’s network stating that the Italian oil firm ENI Indonesia had won a tender for the development of the Masela block.
Under the contract, ENI Indonesia has committed three years toward conducting studies, seismic surveys and an exploration.
The foundation has campaigned for the rights of East Nusa Tenggara people from oil and gas explorations in the Timor Gap since Jakarta and Canberra signed an agreement to exploit the oil and gas resources.
The agreement gave Australia the lion’s share of oil and gas reserves in Timor Gap, an ocean area between Australia, Timor Leste and Indonesia, Ferdi said.
Australia, however, has cooperated closely with Timor Leste after the 1999 referendum in which the former Portuguese colony voted to secede from Indonesia.
Timor Leste expected independence to allow them to fully utilize their oil and gas potentials to develop, but Australia is dominating the profit sharing, Ferdi said. (****)