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    East Timor Closes Greater Sunrise Deal


The fields, 150 km southeast offshore Timor Leste and 450 km northwest of Darwin in Australia, were discovered in 1974.

by: Shardul Sharma

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East Timor Closes Greater Sunrise Deal

The government of Timor-Leste (East Timor) April 16 completed the purchase of ConocoPhillips' 30% interest and Shell Australia's 26.56% interest in the Greater Sunrise fields, giving Timor Gap, the national oil company of Timor-Leste, a 56.56% interest in the fields.

The government agreed in November 2018 to pay Shell $300mn for its 26.56% stake in the Greater Sunrise field, a little over one month after it agreed to pay ConocoPhillips $350mn for its 30% interest in the same asset.

Australia's Woodside operates the undeveloped Greater Sunrise project with a 33.44% interest, while the other non-state partner is Japan's Osaka Gas with 10%. The fields, 150 km southeast offshore Timor Leste and 450 km northwest of Darwin in Australia, were discovered in 1974 and hold gross contingent resources of 5.13 trillion ftof gas and 225.9mn barrels of condensate. 

"The completion of the acquisitions marks the end of a process that commenced shortly after the signature of the Maritime Boundaries Treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste,” Timor-Leste's special representative on petroleum matters, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, said. “Timor Gap's acquisition of this 56.56% will allow discussions to progress between the Sunrise Joint Venture and the Australian and Timor-Leste authorities on the new Greater Sunrise Production Sharing Contract that will govern the fields after the entry into force of the Treaty.”

According to the government, the deal will also allow for negotiations to continue within the Sunrise Joint Venture, now with Timor Gap, on the development concept for the fields and the construction of the LNG at Beaço, on Timor-Leste's South Coast. In August the Timor Leste government reiterated its desire for a tie-back to a proposed liquefaction project in Timor-Leste, rather than to see it developed as a floating LNG project, like Prelude or Ichthys.

“The Government of Timor-Leste will continue to work towards a fast development of Greater Sunrise for the benefit of all stakeholders," Gusmao said.