Subject: East Timor asks Petronas to develop Sunrise gas field

also Petronas studies offer to develop gas field

RPT-East Timor asks Petronas to develop Sunrise gas field

Reuters - Wednesday, January 20

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 - East Timor has approached Malaysian state oil firm Petronas [PETR.UL] to develop the offshore Great Sunrise gas field, a top Petronas official said on Tuesday.

Last week, East Timor rejected a plan by Australian energy firm Woodside Petroleum <WPL.AX> and its partners to develop the field without developing an onshore plant to liquefy the gas, saying it might approach Petronas instead.

"We have been advising them on how the development of gas resources should take place," Petronas President and Chairman Hassan Marican told reporters. "They approached us and we are studying it."

Developers must get approvals from the Australian and East Timor governments to develop the Sunrise field that is estimated to hold 5.13 trillion cubic feet of gas and 226 million barrels of condensate, according to a treaty signed in 2007.

East Timor's preference for Petronas is a sign that relations between Dili and Woodside have soured. The East Timor government has said that all negotiations have stopped since Woodside shortlisted the development plans.

Woodside has publicly said that negotiations with the government were progressing as planned. (Reporting by Razak Ahmad; Writing by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Petronas studies offer to develop gas field

mor government's offer to develop the Greater Sunrise gas field, chief executive officer Hassan Marican said.

"There have been reports that the government of Timor Leste is inviting us to participate in the development of gas resources in the Timor Sea, and we have been in discussions with them," Hassan told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today. "We have been advising them on how development of that gas should take place. They have approached us to see whether we are interested to participate. We are studying it."

East Timor on January 13 repeated its objections to any development plan that doesn't include a processing plant on its soil. Woodside Petroleum Ltd and its partners, including ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, are considering whether to process the fuel on a floating liquefied natural gas plant or pipe it to Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory.

Australia and East Timor completed a treaty in 2007 for the administration of the Sunrise field, which straddles a boundary between Australian waters and an area jointly managed by the two countries. The countries agreed to share royalties. Woodside owns about 33 per cent of Sunrise and is the operator, while Houston-based ConocoPhillips has a 30 per cent stake. Shell has about 27 per cent and Osaka Gas Co 10 per cent. -- Bloomberg


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