Australia and Timor-Leste have reached a breakthrough agreement on the maritime border (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Australia and Timor-Leste have reached a breakthrough agreement on the maritime border, ending a decade-old row between the two nations that has stalled a 40 billion USD offshore gas project. 

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the Netherlands, announced on September 2 that the two neighbouring countries in the South Pacific region achieved an agreement on the “central elements of maritime boundary delimitation” in the Timor Sea.

The two nations agreed to establish a special regime for the Greater Sunrise gas fields, paving the way for its development and sharing of the resulting revenue.

The Australian and Timor-Leste governments were unanimous that the agreement reached on August 30, 2017, marks an important milestone in bilateral relations as well as historic friendship between their people.

Australia and Timor-Leste started to discuss the settlement of territorial disputes in 2002 when the latter separated from Indonesia.

In 2006, the two sides signed some marine deals in the Timor Sea.

The Greater Sunrise fields are estimated to hold 144 billion cubic metres of gas and 226 million barrels of condensate, which are worth up to 40 billion USD.-VNA