Maritime Expansion and Delimitation After the Timor Gap Treaty

Marcel Hendrapati

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The Timor Gap Treaty on oil and gas management cooperation in some parts of the Timor Sea was full of political intrigues between Australia and Republic of Indonesia, since the treaty which comprises three areas of cooperation was detrimental to Indonesia and it indicated the highest influence of Indonesian Republic by Australia. Renunciation of the treaty due to the independence of Timor Leste after a referendum resulted in the issue of maritime delimitation between Timor Leste and Indonesia. Nevertheless in fact in 2002 the new state declared maritime expansion to a distance of 100 nautical miles measured from the former Timor Gap lines. The result of the expansion was that it potentially reached to Indonesian oil and gas fields located in the west and east of the lines. Apparently the unilateral expansion conducted by the country which from 1975 until 1999 was the 27th province of Indonesian Republic motivated both states to accelerate maritime delimitation aimed at achieving equitable solution. Although some points existing in border territory have not been agreed yet, the disagreement did not hamper the two states to conduct any negotiations regarding maritime delimitation, mainly delimitation of exclusive economic zone on the basis of the international law rules aimed at achieving equitable solution. This article is designed to examine the substance of Timor Gap Treaty and other issues relating to it, such as the maritime expansion and implementation of the equitable solution principle in maritime delimitation between the two states after the Timor Gap Treaty.


Delimitation; Equidistance; Equitable Solution; Maritime Expansion; Timor Gap; Timor Sea

ISSN: 2356-2129