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Australia and Timor Leste locked in legal battle

The disagreement is over valuable oil and gas buried under the Timor Sea

Australia and its impoverished northern neighbour Timor Leste are locked in a fresh legal battle over billions of dollars worth of oil and gas buried beneath the Timor Sea. Dili claims Canberra gained an unfair commercial advantage after it allegedly spied on Timor Leste's negotiating team 10 years ago, when the two countries were hammering out agreements to share a wealth of hydrocarbons in the waters separating them. At stake are the Greater Sunrise fields, which collectively mark the biggest-ever discovery in the Timor Sea. The fields, estimated to hold at least 5 trillion cubic feet of gas, or about 4% of Australia's proved gas reserves, straddle the joint petroleum development area

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