Australian oil and gas explorer Timor Resources, a joint venture with the national company Timor Gap, has commissioned the land rig contractor Eastern Drilling to commence a five-well drilling campaign onshore Timor Leste. In 2017, Timor Resources secured the rights to explore and develop a large under-explored onshore acreage located on the south coast of the island.
Eastern Drilling will be moving a US-build 1,100 HP rig to commence onshore drilling in 2020. The company will also provide integrated project management services.
One of the world’s last frontiers for oil and gas, Timor-Leste’s most recent drilling undertaken onshore was nearly 50 years ago in 1972, when Timor-Leste was ruled by Indonesia.
Timor Resources is the first company in over 40 years to have the rights to develop onshore oil and gas resources within the country. The oil and gas potential of Timor-Leste has long been recognized but has remained largely untapped and under explored for the last forty years due to geopolitical issues. This is the first time in more than 40 years that onshore Timor-Leste has opened its doors to petroleum investment in search of the next major global oil discovery.
The onshore hydrocarbon potential of Timor-Leste is significant. Numerous oil and gas seeps were known to locals who expanded these to “oil pits” from which considerable oil was recovered. This attracted activity from international companies, and between 1910 and 1973 a number of wells were drilled, resulting in oil recoveries and completion of three wells, from which oil can still be recovered. Recent geological work has identified a number of structural and stratigraphic traps, with estimates of potential size sufficient to host significant hydrocarbon accumulations. Many of these anticlines have surface expression and are associated with oil and gas seeps. Anticlinal traps, such as the ones found in Timor-Leste, are the most important structural element for oil explorers, accounting for around 80 per cent of the world’s discovered petroleum resources.
(Source and image: Timor Resources – Matai-1A wellhead in Timor Leste)