After talks under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, East Timor and Australia have reached a landmark agreement that promises to end a maritime boundary dispute affecting the fate of oil and gas reserves estimated at US$40 billion. The agreement also addresses the legal status of the Greater Sunrise gas field located in the disputed waters and the establishment of a "special regime" for the development of the field and the sharing of revenues.

In a press release issued by the two states 30th August, East Timor and Australia reached an agreement in Copenhagen on the "central elements" of a permanent maritime boundary in the Timor Sea.

The deal came after a series of meetings with a five-member PCA commission.

Australia and East Timor say they will continue to meet with the commission with a view to formalising the agreement in October. They will also discuss the implications of the agreement with other stakeholders in the Timor Sea. The agreement will remain confidential until all outstanding issues have been resolved.

Members of 20 Essex Street also acted as representatives for East Timor and Australia, Sir Michael Wood KCMG for the former and Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC for the latter.