Giant CCS plan in East Timor could help secure finance for Sunrise LNG

As the world seeks to decarbonise, East Timor expects that a plan for a giant carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub will help it find financial backing for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that would process gas from the Greater Sunrise fields.

Development of Greater Sunrise, first discovered in 1974, had stalled due to a now-resolved maritime border dispute between East Timor and Australia, and by disagreement with operator Woodside on whether to pipe gas to East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, or Australia, to process LNG for export.

“We want to have Greater Sunrise developed here in Timor Leste,” Florentino Soares Ferreira, president of East Timor’s National Authority of Petroleum and Minerals (ANPM), told Energy Voice in an interview.

However, Woodside (ASX:WPL) CEO Meg O’Neill recently told Australian media that “the economics of taking (Sunrise) gas to Timor Leste and building new plants just are prohibitive – so that’s something that needs to get cracked – but the production-sharing contract (PSC) terms need to get sorted out first.”

“The field is closer to existing LNG infrastructure (in Australia), there’s potentially some interesting opportunities there to use existing facilities. So just from an economics perspective, taking the gas to Timor-Leste and building a brand-new plant just doesn’t make sense.”

Nevertheless, commercial and feasibility studies are ongoing, and Ferreira believes “Timor Leste is in a…

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