SHELL and ConocoPhillips have both announced the completion of the sale of their shares of the Greater Sunrise gas field to Timor-Leste for a combined US$650 million. Shell said late yesterday the sale of its 26.5% share to three wholly-owned nominees of Timor Gap, the national oil company for $300 million had completed.
"We understand the importance of this resource to the Timor-Leste nation and respect the Government's determination to pursue an alternative path to development through an onshore facility," Shell chair Zoe Yujnovich said.
ConocoPhillips made the announcement Monday on selling its 30% share for US$350 million
"ConocoPhillips recognizes the importance of the Greater Sunrise Fields to the nation of Timor-Leste, and this sale gives them a significant working interest in this important development," executive vice president and chief operating officer Matt Fox said.
First ConocoPhillips and then Shell moved out of the project late last year, announcing the sale of the assets to the small nation which used its $17 billion sovereign wealth fund to pay for the transactions.
This gave it a 56% share of the field, which Woodside (33.5%) still operates. Osaka Gas has the remaining 10% share.
Woodside did suggest the original contract gave it veto power and it could possibly block the sale if it chose.
Timor-Leste has long said onshore development of the fields via an LNG plant is "non-negotiable", underlining it again in March when the ambassador to Australia and head of the petroleum and mines body spoke at the Australasian Oil & Gas conference in Perth.
Petroleum and minerals authority president Gualdino do Carmo da Silva told Energy News then "for us it's non negotiable".
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Source: Energy News Bulletin