Magazine article Business Asia

Projects Belie Soft Market in Timor Sea

Magazine article Business Asia

Projects Belie Soft Market in Timor Sea

Article excerpt

The outlook for oil and gas projects in the Timor Sea remains "bullish" despite a soft Asian market.

Northern Territory Minister for Resource Development Mr Eric Poole said possible projects "in train" were worth capital investment of A$18 billion.

He said exploration initiatives were likely to reveal other lucrative energy sources.

Speaking at the recent South East Asia Offshore Conference (SEAAOC), Mr Poole said a new phase of development was under way.

"The drop in the price of crude oil and the Asian economic crisis does not appear to be delaying oil developments," he said.

Of the NT's three offshore oil projects, Skua was recently abandoned, while Jabiru and Challis are nearing an end.

However, Mr Poole cited the Elang/Kakatua development in the Timor Gap zone of cooperation between Indonesia and Australia as evidence of a bright future.

Other projects in line include Laminaria, a world-class oil field in the Timor Sea, where production should start in 1999. The Buffalo, Tenacious and Cornea oil fields are in the feasibility study stage. Phase one of the Bayu-Undan development, involving the recovery of liquids and design engineering, has started. Production is tabled to start in 2002.

Mr Poole admitted the Asia crisis had affected the gas industry.

"The market has softened due to the Asian crisis and opportunities appear to be limited in the first few years of the next century," he said.

Nevertheless, he said "significant progress has been made with China for the possibility of gas-powered electricity generation in their coastal provinces". …

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