The row between the government of East Timor and Royal Dutch Shell has escalated further with east Timor calling for Shell to be excluded from talks about the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field, which straddles the maritime border between East Timor and Australia.
East Timor’s Secretary of State, Agio Pereira, said in a statement: “Shell cannot independently advocate for the best commercial advantage of the development of Greater Sunrise when Shell has a commercial conflict of interest.
“Shell decided on the FLNG option and then announced the order of the FLNG units before the debate had ever begun,” Mr Pereira said.
Shell has been pushing for the field to be exploited using a floating LNG plant (FLNG) to liquefy the out put from the field, East Timor however, would like to see a plant built on East Timor’s coast line which would bring in much needed revenue into the country. East Timor also does not like the idea of ‘untested’ technology being used in the venture. Shell have refuted East Timor’s claims that it has a vested interest in FLNG, “Our interests are in recommending the best commercial and technical option,” a spokeswoman said.
Shell has always maintained that using FLNG is the best commercial option due to the huge cost of building a land-based FLNG plant, and they are confident the technology can be used, as the company approved the construction of an FLNG plant for its Prelude gas field last month.
However, the project will require government approval from both Australia and East Timor before it can proceed so it is in both venture partners’ interests to settle the dispute.
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