U.S. oil and gas firm ConocoPhillips has wrapped up the previously announced sale of its interest in the Greater Sunrise Fields in the Timor Sea.
The Greater Sunrise fields, comprised of the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields, are located some 150 kilometers south-east of Timor-Leste and 450 kilometers north-west of Darwin, Northern Territory. Woodside is the operator of the project.
The offshore gas fields were discovered in 1974 and hold gross (100%) contingent resources (2C) of 5.13 Tcf of gas and 225.9 million barrels of condensate. The development has been hampered by a dispute on the maritime border between Timor-Leste and Australia. On March 6, 2018, Timor-Leste and Australia signed their new Maritime Boundaries Treaty opening path for development of the Sunrise gas fields.
Negotiations between the two Governments and the Sunrise Joint Venture on the new Greater Sunrise PSC started in November 2018.
ConocoPhillips has sold a 30 percent share to the Timor-Leste government for $350 million and is no longer involved in the project.
“We are pleased to complete this transaction with the government of Timor-Leste,” said Matt Fox, executive vice president, and chief operating officer. “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.”
To remind, ConocoPhillips first announced the agreement to sell off its Greater Sunrise interest in October 2018. Come November, Shell also announced it would exit the long-stalled project by selling its 26.6 percent interest to the Timor-Leste government for $300 million.
Onshore development option
Worth noting, apart from the maritime border disputes between Timor-Leste and Australia, the companies and the Timor-Leste gov’t have differed in the view on how to develop the field. While the companies involved in the Woodside-operated project prefer the offshore facility development, Timor-Leste has been leaning towards an onshore LNG facility development in the country.
Following the sell-off by Conoco and Shell, the onshore facility in Timor-Leste is the most likely way forward.
Energy Intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie in October 2018 said the development via an onshore LNG plant in Timor-Leste would require the construction of a new liquefaction plant and associated infrastructure; an FPSO to process and handle the condensate, and construction of a pipeline connecting the FPSO to shore.