Subject: East Timor says yet to award Sunrise downstream contract

East Timor says yet to award Sunrise downstream contract

Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:00am GMT

By Sunanda Creagh

JAKARTA, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The East Timor government said on Thursday that it still has not awarded a contract to any company to develop a pipeline or LNG facility from its lucrative Greater Sunrise gas field.

Australian energy firm Woodside Petroleum (<>WPL.AX) holds the exploration and exploitation rights of the Greater Sunrise field but the government said in January that it would not approve Woodside's development plan unless it also built an onshore plant to liquefy gas. [IDn:nSGE60C0AL]

An official at the natural resources ministry told Reuters in January the government was considering approaching Malaysian state oil firm Petronas [PETR.UL] instead.

However, Dili said in a statement on Thursday that it had not entered into a contract with Petronas to replace Woodside as the upstream developer of the site.

The statement also said that neither Petronas nor Woodside nor any other company had been selected as the downstream developer.

"It is also important to note that the Government of Timor-Leste has not given any downstream contracts for the Greater Sunrise project to any company including Woodside. The downstream segment will include the contract for transportation (the pipeline) and processing (the LNG-Plant)," it said.

A Petronas official said in January that the firm had been advising the East Timor government on how the development of its gas resources should take place. [ID:nSGE60I07O] (Editing by <> Sara Webb)

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