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Timor-Leste’s Exploration Director discusses bidding companies’ announcement

Mar 21, 2022

Mateus da Costa, Executive Director for Exploration and Promotion at ANPM, Timor-Leste’s National Hydrocarbons Authority, sat down with IN-VR to discuss the country’s recent Second Licensing Round updates. The Director commented on bidding companies, promotional methods, and the new opportunities available for IECs, investors and service providers in Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste has been making headlines with the announcement of the bidding submissions of the 2nd Licensing Round. What can you share with us about the bidding announcement and the prequalified companies?

With regards to the announcements, after concluding the bid submission period on March 4th, we are happy to have received a total of nine bids to six blocks in onshore and offshore offered areas. These bids were submitted by seven different companies from all over the world – including two Timorese companies.

We have received four bid submissions for our offshore acreage:

  • Dubai-based Dravida Petroleum DMCC is bidding for block N
  • ENI, an Italian-based company that has operated in Timor-Leste in the past and currently has 3 blocks in Timor-Leste, is bidding for block P
  • Santos, an Australian-based company and big player in the country, currently operating the Bayu-Undan production fields, is bidding for block R
  • Finally, the Dutch-based Supernova Energy BV bidding for offshore block R

And five on our onshore acreage:

  • Timor GAP, Timor-Leste’s NOC is bidding for blocks A and F
  • Kazakhstan-based HTS Exploration is bidding for block F
  • Esperanca Timor Oan Lda, a Timor-Based downstream company is bidding for blocks F and B

With regards to the companies, there are a number of things worth highlighting about this round.

To start with, this is the first time that local companies are bidding for an exploration licensing round, so it is a great testament of how Timor Leste’s energy industry has evolved the last 5 years. As well, this kind of involvement opens the door for further partnerships and investment. For instance, ETO is currently not prequalified as an operator, however, if their bid is successful, they will be looking to partner with an experienced company that can operate the field. This new JV could originate with the players already in the country or a completely new operator.

At the same time, we saw re-commitment from players who have been in the country for a long time, like Santos and ENI. This is always good news.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that this bidding phase has proven to be quite competitive. If you notice three companies bid for block F, and two companies for offshore block R. The ANPM will be evaluating who has the best qualifications and approach to obtain the blocks.

Source: IN-VR’s interview