The government of East Timor has approved a project for exploration of the “Kitan” oil block in the Timor Sea, led by Italy’s ENI, the Secretary of State for Natural Resources said in Dili Tuesday.
The “Kitan” block is located in the East Timor-Australia joint exploration zone (JDZ) in the Timor Sea some 250 kilometres of the Timorese coast and around 500 kilometres from the Australian city of Darwin. It is estimated the block has 34.5 million barrels of oil reserves.
ENI is moving ahead with exploration of the Kitan oil field, with in initial investment of $1 billion, with 40 percent of its capital in the hands of the consortium, which partners Japan’s Impex Timor Sea Lda, with 35 percent, and Canada’s Talisman Resources with 25 percent.
On 11 April 2008 the consortium told the East Timor authorities that the result of prospecting showed commercial feasibility for exploration and the East Timor government approved the exploration plan on 22 April.