NPA, Timor Gap, and Australia to begin negotiations on Greater Sunrise project next week

NPA, Timor Gap, and Australia to begin negotiations on Greater Sunrise project next week

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Francisco da Costa Monteiro/Image TATOLI/Francisco Sony

DILI, 13 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Timor Gap will be leaving for Australia, next week, to have negotiations with Australian authorities, Woodside Energy Group Ltd, and Osaka Gas on the Greater Sunrise project.

The negotiations between NPA and Australian Authorities will be centered on three important documents, namely the Petroleum Mining Code (PMC), the Fiscal Regimes (FR), and the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

Meanwhile, Timor-Gap, Woodside Energy Group Ltd, and Osaka Gas will have discussions on the new concept study for the Greater Sunrise project.

“The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPMR), has delegated authority to a delegation team made up of NPA and Timor Gap to leave for Australia next week to begin negotiations with the Australian authorities and joint venture partners on the PMC, FR, PSC, and the new concept study,” said Francisco da Costa Monteiro, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, on the sidelines of the MPRM’s 2024 Annual Action Plan Workshop in Dili, on thursday.

Last month, a delegation from Woodside Energy Group Ltd, led by Executive Vice President of Exploration and Development, Andy Drummond, met with the Minister of Petroleum, Francisco da Costa Monteiro, to discuss how to speed up the negotiation process on the new concept study for the Sunrise project.

After the meeting, Minister Monteiro highlighted the importance of having open negotiations to finalize all the necessary agreements for the Sunrise project.

In the presence of the Woodside delegation team, Minister Monteiro reiterated Timor-Leste’s position, preferring the oil and gas from the Sunrise field to be processed in onshore Timor-Leste.

Monteiro wanted all necessary agreements to be finalized next year in order to move to the next phase: “It is better to have a unique concept study for the development of Greater Sunrise. We hope to get it done by june 2024.”

When asked about Woodside’s position on Timor-Leste’s preference to process the oil and gas in onshore Timor-Leste, Drummond said that Woodside’s decision would be based on the outcome of the new concept study.

Drummond said Woodside was willing to discuss the revision of the scope of the concept study with Timor Gap and Osaka.

During the presentation of IX Government’s program at the National Parliament, Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão strongly reaffirmed Timor-Leste’s position to bring the oil and gas from the Sunrise field to be processed in onshore Timor-Leste.

“We will prove to the world that piping oil and gas from the Greater Sunrise field to be processed in onshore Timor-Leste is a feasible and economically sound solution,” Gusmão stressed.

On september 18, Gusmão held a meeting with the Australian Government Special Representative for the Greater Sunrise Project, Steve Brack, to discuss how to get the Greater Sunrise project off the ground.

After the meeting, Brack told reporters that the Australian government would continue to work with Gusmão’s government on the negotiations of of Greater Sunrise project to reach an ideal outcome by the middle of next year.

In july, during her visit to Timor-Leste, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed the commitment of Australia’s new government to accelerate the development of Greater Sunrise to support Timor-Leste’s economy: “We have only one ambition for Greater Sunrise, and that is to see it developed as soon as feasibly possible to support Timor-Leste’s development.”

She said Australia agreed with Prime Minister Gusmão that the Greater Sunrise Development project needs to be a feasible and economically sound solution, that creates a petroleum industry that can yield direct economic dividends for the Timorese people: “We would encourage the work to be done within the partners in Greater Sunrise for that to occur.”

Wong said Australia has been listening carefully to understand Timor-Leste’s ambitions for Greater Sunrise: “I can assure you that Timor-Leste’s commitment to onshore processing and the south coast Tasi Mane project is clearly understood.”

The Sunrise project is operated by Joint Venture between TIMOR GAP (56.56%), Woodside Petroleum (33.44%), and Osaka Gas (10%).

The Sunrise field is estimated to contain 5.13 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 226 million barrels of condensate (oil), which could give Timor-Leste US$50 billion in revenues.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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