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Onshore terminal proposed for Greater Sunrise LNG project

Oilfield Technology,

The government of East Timor plan to put a development plan for an onshore LNG terminal to key shareholders in the Greater Sunrise project later this year. The move comes after East Timor's National Petroleum Authority rejected claims made by Woodside Petroleum, which leads the joint venture, that they had presented a development plan for the project to the government of East Timor. They allege that Woodside did not carry out feasibility studies for other development options, such as an onshore terminal in East Timor.

Instead, the government of East Timor has said it will "present a US$ 3.8 billion proposal for the development of the south coast of the country; pinned to be the hub of oil, gas and other subsidiary industries onshore where pipeline facilities are slated for production".

They plan to present the plan at the next meeting of the Joint and Sunrise Commissions on 5 – 6 August. East Timor is insisting on the development of an onshore processing terminal, because they want the terminal and the associated investment in the local economy that it will bring to benefit their impoverished country.

However, Woodside has argued that it will cost US$ 5 billion more to build an onshore processing terminal and transmission pipeline, which would have to cross a deep ocean trench. The estimate of US$ 3.8 billion does seem low in light of other LNG projects though, and it is unclear if the East Timorese government’s planned cost for an onshore terminal include the costs of the undersea transmission pipeline from the gas field to the terminal. Given that the current plan for a floating LNG terminal is expected to cost between US$ 10 – 11 billion, the east Timorese estimate does seem very low.

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