Why is the board of Chevron Corp visiting Australia, all at once?

A cavalcade of five private jets landed at Fiji’s Nadi international airport on Saturday that reportedly carried the upper echelon of the oil giant’s board and management.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reported on Sunday that the jets were ferrying the board of directors of Chevron Corporation to meetings in Australia.

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The paper said the Chevron jets were in Fiji five years ago, so the visit is not a first.

A spokesman for Chevron Australia confirmed that members of the board were visiting Western Australia for a few days.

However, the company did not respond to questions on the purpose of the visit and whether any major decisions were pending.

The interest of the board is understandable, given an interrupted mid-year start to production at its $US54 billion Gorgon LNG plant on Barrow Island which has endured big cost blowouts in the construction phase.

There have also been delays at Chevron’s $US29 billion Wheatstone project in WA

So there’s a lot for the Chevron chairman and chief executive, John S. Watson, to mull over  with the rest of the board (https://www.chevron.com/about/leadership).

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Australian objections in Timor Sea case thrown out

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has thrown out the Turnbull government’s argument it did not have jurisdiction to hear a dispute about disputed maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Australia.

In a decision published on Monday the five-member Commission said it was competent with respect to the compulsory conciliation over the maritime boundary.

“There are no issues of admissibility or comity that preclude the Commission from continuing these proceedings,” the decision.

Under the ruling, the 12-month period for the compulsory conciliation will run from the date of the arbitration which was dated September 19.

The conciliation will not be binding on the parties, but the Turnbull government will come under increased international scrutiny during the process, which is conducted under the UN

Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Timor-Leste government welcomed the decision, which followed a three-day hearing held in The Hague.

Timor’s Minister of State Agio Pereira – who is also their agent in the proceedings – said: “This process is an opportunity to set a good example in our region and we will engage with respect for the commission and its recommendations, ever conscious of the importance of maintaining the best possible relationship with our close neighbour Australia.”

Chief Negotiator and former Prime Minster, Xanana Gusmão thanked the Commissioners for their expertise and noted “Just as we fought so hard and suffered so much for our independence, Timor-Leste will not rest until we have our sovereign rights over both land and sea.”

Before the decision, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Attorney-General George Brandis said that Australia would abide by the Commission’s finding on jurisdiction but noted the final report was not binding.

Link to further information on the proceedings:

http://www.pcacases.com/web/view/132

Link to today’s decision:

http://www.pcacases.com/web/sendAttach/1921