26 March 2010

What Woodside says about Sunrise

In recent weeks, the Timor-Leste media has been filled with polemics and misinformation regarding the future development of the Greater Sunrise gas field, the LNG plant that will go with it, and the views of the actors in this debate.  La'o Hamutuk is a Timorese civil society organization which hopes that this project will give the maximum benefit to the Timorese people. We are concerned that many of the articles and statements misrepresent the reality of the situation, which has economic, legal, technical and environmental aspects, not only politics.  Two years ago, we published a book Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges which is available in English or Bahasa Indonesia from our office in Farol, or online.

In an effort to bring the Sunrise discussion closer to reality, we are circulating the page at right (click on it to see it larger) from Woodside's 2009 Annual Report. La'o Hamutuk does NOT endorse Woodside's views, nor do we believe that decisions about Sunrise should be made by the Sunrise Joint Venture (Woodside, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Osaka Gas) alone. Timor-Leste and Australia are also involved in this decision, which is constrained by treaties and contracts already signed by both governments and the companies. However, we believe that supporters of Timor-Leste can advance this country's interests most effectively if we have the most accurate information, so we are circulating Woodside's perspectives.

La'o Hamutuk has been engaged with the Sunrise issue for a long time. Our 2004 paper The Case for Saving Sunrise advocated a position which was taken Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão earlier this week. We continue to research and publish about the Sunrise project, and welcome information and inquiries from all sources.

Woodside’s 2010 Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, 30 April 2010 in the Riverside Theatre, Level 2, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Road, Perth, Western Australia at 10.00am.

The text on the Woodside 2009 Annual Report page above reads as follows, with explanations of abbreviations added by La'o Hamutuk in brown:

Sunrise LNG

At Sunrise the focus for 2010 will be on working with the Timor–Leste and Australian Governments, Sunrise Commission and Regulators to deliver the FDP (field development plan) approval

Interest: JPDA 03-19, JPDA 03-20, NT/RL2, NT/RL4   33.44% (unitised)
Operator: Woodside
Location: Offshore 450 km north-west of Darwin, NT; 150 km south-east of Timor-Leste
Water depth:  less than 100 metres to greater than 600 metres
Contingent Resources: 1,717 Bcf [billion cubic feet] dry gas, 75.6 MMbbl [million barrels] condensate [Woodside's share]
Acreage (km2): Gross 2,998, Net 958

Photo: Drilling rig at sunrise

The Sunrise LNG Project involves the development of the Sunrise and Troubadour gas fields, collectively known as Greater Sunrise, located offshore, approximately 450 km north-west of Darwin, Northern Territory. These fields contain a combined contingent resource of about 5 Tcf of dry gas and 226 million barrels of condensate.

Photo: Jon Ozturgut, SENIOR Vice President Sunrise. Jon has almost 30 years of industry experience and joined Woodside in 2005.

Development opportunity

During 2009 the Sunrise joint venture (JV) has continued to apply its wealth of international LNG experience to a comprehensive and robust commercial and technical evaluation to select the development option which develops the Greater Sunrise fields to the best commercial advantage consistent with good oilfield practice. This is a requirement of the international treaties agreed by both the Timor-Leste and Australian Governments.

The theme selection evaluation took more than 320,000 hours to complete and has positioned the JV to finalise its selection of a preferred development option in 2010.

Developing Greater Sunrise

In mid-2008, the Sunrise JV completed a lengthy, $33 million concept screening process which fully explored and assessed five development concepts for the Greater Sunrise fields, including Darwin LNG, Floating LNG and an onshore LNG facility in Timor-Leste.

The screening study found that an onshore LNG facility in Timor-Leste was the least likely of these options to develop the reservoir to the best commercial advantage consistent with good oilfield practice. Since completing its concept screening work, the Sunrise JV has undertaken an extensive technical and commercial evaluation of both the Floating and Darwin LNG development options. It also updated its analysis of the Timor-Leste LNG option, including updating its assessment of the costs and operability of a pipeline to Timor–Leste and an onshore LNG facility in Timor-Leste.

As a result of the concept screening study and subsequent technical and commercial evaluation, the Sunrise JV has sufficient technical and commercial information to agree on the development option that will maximise recovery and value. Following theme selection, the Sunrise JV will submit a field development plan (FDP) to the Australian and Timor-Leste regulators. The approval of a FDP is an important precursor to an FID (final investment decision) on the Greater Sunrise fields.

The Governments of Timor–Leste and Australia will receive an equal share (50% each) of government upstream revenues from the development of the Greater Sunrise fields. This revenue will deliver long-term, stable and significant cash flow to Timor-Leste and Australia over approximately 30 years.

Floating LNG (FLNG) option

The Sunrise floating facility would be designed to produce around 4 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export, plus the associated condensate. The facility would be permanently moored via a geostationary turret, held on station via mooring chains. The Sunrise subsea facilities would be developed in stages to include approximately 26 production wells and a number of main flow line headers linking into the FLNG facility. The Floating LNG facility, would store and export LNG via an LNG carrier and condensate via a shuttle tanker.

Darwin LNG (DLNG) option

The Darwin LNG development concept is based on an offshore upstream processing facility that would transport the dry gas to shore via an export pipeline. The new Sunrise LNG processing train would have a capacity of around 5 million tonnes per annum and would be located within the existing LNG processing complex at Wickham Point in Darwin. An FPSO (Floating, production, storage and offloading ship) is the preferred concept for combining the upstream processing facilities with condensate storage.


At Sunrise the focus for 2010 will be on selecting a development option and working with the Timor–Leste and Australian Governments, Sunrise Commission and regulators to deliver the FDP approval.

Our process will see a natural progression through basis of design (BOD) and into FEED (front-end engineering and design).

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