Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Minister Urges “Fruitful Fruition” of Sunrise Gas Project During Osaka Gas Visit Featured

By The INDEPENDENTE October 26, 2023 335
Minister Francisco da Costa Monteiro. Minister Francisco da Costa Monteiro.

DILI: Senior representatives from Osaka Gas Japan and Australia arrived in Dili on Wednesday to meet Timor-Leste’s Minister for Petroleum and Minerals, as Timor-Leste pushes for progress on the long-stalled Greater Sunrise Gas Project in the Timor-Sea, according to a government filing.

Minister Francisco da Costa Monteiro said he advocated strongly “a vision for a constructive approach towards the sustainable development and fruitful fruition of the projects related to the Greater Sunrise field.”

Present at the meeting were Senior Managers Motoyuki Hirabayashi from Osaka Gas, Japan, and Rod Lake from Osaka Gas Australia.

There has been goodwill on both sides to progress the joint venture, but no details were given about the outcomes of the talks.

Osaka Gas is  one of Timor-Leste’s partners in the Greater Sunrise Gas Field alongside operator Woodside Energy, owning a 10 per cent participating interest share in the project. Yet talks about the gas field’s progress have been dominated by Woodside Energy.

Development of the Sunrise gas fields has been stalled for decades amid disputes over whether the gas should be processed for export at a liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in Australia or Timor-Leste at a floating LNG platform in the Timor Sea.

Woodside and Osaka Gas had in February formally agreed to a ‘concept select program’ to “consider all of the key issues” for processing the gas in Timor-Leste and identify the option that delivers “the most meaningful benefit” to Timor-Leste, the partners said in a joint statement.

No deadline was given for selecting the best option, but the joint venture said in the statement they aimed to complete the concept selection quickly to ensure the benefits from developing the Sunrise field would flow.

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