Sunrise Floating On The Timor Sea  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , , ,

The Australian has a report on progress on the Sunrise LNG project in the Timor Sea. Unsurprisingly, operator Woodisde has decided not to build an LNG plant in East Timor (much to the outrage of the Timorese) and instead is favouring a world first floating LNG platform - Darwin beats Timor for site of LNG plant.

WOODSIDE Petroleum has ruled out a $15 billion East Timor liquefied natural gas export plant to process output from its Greater Sunrise fields. East Timor's natural resource secretary of state said the decision would be a "major problem" for the Government.

A Woodside spokeswoman said yesterday that the Perth company had told East Timorese authorities a local plant was not commercially attractive and it would instead focus on piping gas to Darwin or building a floating LNG plant. East Timor Natural Resources State Secretary Alfredo Pires said he had not been informed of the decision and the Government, which had to approve the Sunrise project, would still push hard to for an East Timor plant.

"If there is a decision of that nature it will be a major problem for us," Mr Pires said yesterday after being informed of Woodside's statements. "To my understanding we have an agreement that no decision on a site shall be made until early next year."

Mr Pires said he was more than just hopeful an LNG plant would be built in East Timor. When asked if he was instead demanding, he said "yes". "We think it is only fair that the gas pipeline comes to Timor Leste," he said. "Timor Leste's needs have to be taken into account this time round."

After delaying the project since 2004 until fiscal and legal certainty could be obtained from East Timor, Woodside late last year restaffed the project.

That was done after East Timor ratified a treaty splitting royalties from the project 50:50 with Australia, an improvement for the smaller nation on a previous agreement. The Greater Sunrise fields straddle the boundary of the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the Timor Sea. Woodside had previously said the East Timor plant was the least preferred of the three options and yesterday said it was no longer being considered.

"Floating LNG is the most attractive in-field option and Darwin is the most commercially attractive onshore option for Sunrise," a Woodside spokeswoman said.

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