Govt agrees with Joint Venture Partners to undertake a concept selection study for Sunrise project

Govt agrees with Joint Venture Partners to undertake a concept selection study for Sunrise project

The Meeting of the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Francisco da Costa Monteiro (Left), and Woodside CEO, Meg O'Neil (Right), on monday (20/11), in Dili/Image MPMR

DILI, 21 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPMR), has agreed with the Greater Sunrise Joint Partners, especially Woodside Energy, to carry out a concept selection study for the development of the Greater Sunrise fields.

The agreement was publically announced following a meeting between the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Francisco da Costa Monteiro and Woodside CEO, Meg O’Neil in Dili, on monday (20/11).

“The Timorese government has approved a concept selection study for the project, signaling readiness to begin work on assessing various options for the Greater Sunrise fields,” said in a statement, on tuesday.

Minister Monteiro praised Woodside’s leadership and collaborative approach towards the development of the Greater Sunrise fields, emphasizing the importance of a thorough evaluation of the concept selection study.

The approval of the concept select study is a significant step forward, with Minister Monteiro stating that intense discussions would continue in the upcoming week to finalize the approved documents and to also analyze the Petroleum Mining Code, the Tax Regime, and the Production Sharing Contract: “Timor-Leste’s National Petroleum Authority, I.P. (ANP), National Oil Company, TIMOR GAP, E.P., and other Joint Venture partners (Operator Woodside Energy, and Osaka Gas Australia), will be involved in these discussions.”

CEO Meg O’Neil emphasized this approval and the subsequent steps to be taken.

On september 2023, 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 the new concept selection study.

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 new concept selection study.

“We really appreciate the position of the Timor-Leste government for the people of Timor-Leste. A year ago we proposed a study that will look at various concepts of various opportunities with a strong focus on the LNG options. So, it would be premature to say the outcome of the study without doing that study,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Sunrise Joint Venture, comprising TIMOR GAP (56.56%), Woodside Energy (33.44%), and Osaka Gas (10.00%), agreed to undertake the concept selection study to develop the Greater Sunrise gas fields situated between Timor-Leste and Australia, with a “strong focus” on piping the oil and gas to be processed in onshore Timor-Leste.

The study will incorporate and update previous work by utilizing the latest technologies and cost estimates while also considering the socio-economic, capacity building, safety, environmental, strategic, and security benefits of the various options. The studies will include an evaluation of which option provides the most meaningful benefit for the people of Timor-Leste.

The Sunrise development, located approximately 450 km northwest of Darwin and 150 km south of Timor-Leste, comprises the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields. 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.

On march 6, 2018, Australia and Timor-Leste signed the Treaty establishing Maritime Boundaries between the two countries in the Timor Sea to resolve a long-running dispute over the maritime border and set a deal on how to share revenue from the offshore Greater Sunrise gas field.

Timor-Leste will receive 80% of the revenue if the gas is developed in Australia, or 70% if the gas is piped to Timor-Leste for processing.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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