Timor-Leste's national oil company Timor Gap has been awarded a new production sharing contract for an onshore exploration block in its home country.
Florentino Soares Ferreira, the president of the National Authority of Petroleum and Minerals (ANPM) said in a LinkedIn post the permit was awarded on 7 December, 46 years since "a brutal invasion of Indonesia in Timor-Leste".
A signing ceremony was held with the tossing of flowers into the ocean to remember Timorese heroes who died on the 7 and 8 December 1975, said Ferreira.
"It's great to see that the onshore oil and gas industry here in Timor-Leste start to move with a confident pace. Both Timor Resources and Timor Gap is currently drilling the onshore block in the Suai area, this is the first exploration well drilled after 50 years of no exploration activities taken place in onshore Timor-Leste."
A request has been sent to the ANPM for details on the permit.
There are two active onshore exploration permits in Timor-Leste, both owned by a 50:50 joint venture comprising private company Timor Resources and Timor GAP - Block TL-OT-17-08 and Block TL-OT-17-09.
The joint venture spudded the Feto Kmaus exploration well on 27 October in the region of Suai. Drilling of the Liurai prospect will follow the Feto Kmaus well.