26/02/2018 - 22:00

Sunrise treaty to be signed next week

26/02/2018 - 22:00

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The Woodside Petroleum-led Greater Sunrise gas project is a step closer to going ahead, with the federal government to ink an agreement with Timor Leste about revenue sharing, more than 40 years after it was originally discovered.

Sunrise will be a potential future LNG development.

The Woodside Petroleum-led Greater Sunrise gas project is a step closer to going ahead, with the federal government to ink an agreement with Timor Leste about revenue sharing, more than 40 years after it was originally discovered.

There has long been a dispute about Australia’s border with Timor, which went to the international Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

In 2016, Timor took the matter to the court, and last year, the two parties reportedly completed conciliation.

“Australia and Timor-Leste have agreed to a draft treaty establishing our maritime boundaries and the sharing of revenue from the development of the Greater Sunrise resource,” a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

“Australia and Timor-Leste will sign the treaty on 6 March 2018 in New York, in the presence of the United Nations secretary‑general and the chair of the Conciliation Commission.

“Australia and Timor-Leste continue to work towards a decision on the development concept for Greater Sunrise.

“The Parties have agreed on details of the treaty and the conciliation process remain confidential until the treaty is signed.”

The Greater Sunrise project contains two fields, Sunrise and Troubadour.

Both are around 450 kilometres north of Darwin, and together they hold about 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

To put that number in perspective, the Pluto and Xena fields hold about 5tcf between them, with the Pluto LNG facility producing about 5 million tonnes per annum.

One economic analysis of that project found it would contribute about $8 billion (in 2007 dollars) in tax revenue to the federal government over the life of the project.

Woodside owns 33.4 per cent of the Greater Sunrise venture, while Conocophillips holds 30 per cent and Shell 26.6 per cent.

Osaka Gas owns 10 per cent.

Woodside had not replied to a request for comment at the time of writing.

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