18 October 2010

Eni oil projects proliferate

The huge Italian oil company Eni operates several contracts for oil exploration in Timor-Leste's Exclusive Area and in the Joint Petroleum Development Area.  Even before receiving approval for drilling the Cova-1 well in S06-03 of the TLEA, this month, Eni requested permission to drill up to three more wells in this area. La'o Hamutuk's submission urges a more deliberative regulatory process, and we encourage the National Petroleum Authority (ANP) to consult the public on health and safety issues (including spills and accidents), in addition to the consultation being done by the RDTL Directorate for the Environment on environmental effects of normal operation.   Eni and DNMA have scheduled a consultation meeting for all interested parties on 27 October at 10:00 am at Eni's Dili office. Please RSVP in advance to Jose Pires of Eni (730 5079, jose.pires@enitimorleste.tl).

Eni just announced another public consultation, on the final EIS for the Kitan project. Click here for La'o Hamutuk's page on this project (including our April 2010 submission), and here for Eni's page with the relevant documents.  Eni invites comments until 19 November 2010.

Kitan will be the first oil or gas project to start production since Timor-Leste became independent. Although it will provide only about 3% as much revenue as Bayu-Undan, it is an important test and learning experience for regulators, companies and civil society as this new nation enters into perilous waters.

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