MORE than 12 months after the partners in the Sunrise Joint Venture agreed on a concept study to focus on piping and processing gas from the Greater Sunrise Fields in the Timor Sea, a contract has been awarded.

The Australian subsidiary of the UK’s Wood PLC has won the contract following a global procurement process, and will conduct the study with a multi-disciplinary team of specialist consulting partners.

The Sunrise JV comprises TIMOR GAP (owned by the Government of Timor Leste, 56.56%), operator Woodside Energy (33.44%), and Osaka Gas Australia (10.00%).  The project has been stalled for years by disagreement over where the gas should be processed.

The partners said yesterday [17 April] that the new study will consider the key issues for developing, processing, and marketing gas “with a strong focus on delivery of gas to Timor-Leste for processing and LNG sales or the alternative of delivery of the gas to Australia”.

It will include a range of disciplines including engineering, financial assessment and financing, local content, strategy and security, health safety and environment, and socioeconomic analysis. The study will evaluate which option provides the most meaningful benefit for the people of Timor-Leste.

“The study will be conducted in an impartial manner and, importantly, will not provide any recommendations to the SJV. It is targeted to be completed by no later than the fourth quarter of 2024,” the partners said.

“In addition, the SJV and the governments have continued to make progress towards agreeing a new

Production Sharing Contract, Petroleum Mining Code and fiscal regimes, which upon finalisation will assist with providing fiscal and regulatory certainty.”

The Greater Sunrise fields, located approximately 450 km north-west of Darwin and 150 km south of Timor Leste, comprise the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields.  Commercial discovery occurred in 1974 but it was not until early February 2023 that TIMOR GAP’s Greater Sunrise Negotiation Team “managed to overcome challenges and obstacles faced during the negotiation process with the SJV partners” to agree to engage a reputable third-party consultant to conduct a concept select study.