Subject: E Timor Still Working With Woodside On Sunrise LNG Options-PM
E Timor Still Working With Woodside On Sunrise LNG Options-PM
August 24, 2008: 11:08 PM EST
CANBERRA -(Dow Jones)- East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said Monday his government is still working with Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU) on development options for processing gas from the Greater Sunrise field.
Asked if East Timor would block development of the field if Woodside and its partners rule out processing gas from Greater Sunrise in East Timor, Gusmao told reporters in Canberra that "more exchange of communication" is needed.
However, he did indicate that East Timor would "accept any decision."
Gusmao said he met with Woodside executives Sunday and they agreed to work together in assessing technically and commercially viable options.
Woodside last month said it had ceased work on the possibility of processing gas from the Greater Sunrise field in East Timor and is now concentrating on two other development options.
Woodside has long raised concerns about the cost of piping the gas to East Timor for processing and the decision to stop assessment work on the option means the focus is now on either piping the gas to Darwin or a floating liquefied natural gas plant in the Timor Sea.
The East Timor option, which involved piping the gas across a 3,000 meter deep trench, was the most costly of the three options, carried the most risk and had the longest schedule.
Woodside has a 33.44% stake in Sunrise and is project operator alongside partners ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Osaka Gas Co. Ltd.
-By Rachel Pannett, Dow Jones Newswires; 61-2-6208-0901; rachel.pannett@ dowjones.com