30 April 2010

The Greater Sunrise Oil and Gas Project Background by Lao Hamutuk

Lao Hamutuk Dili 29 April 2010 The Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea has been the subject of exploration, controversy, and negotiations since it was first discovered in 1974. In particular, the question of where to liquefy the natural gas -- converting it into LNG which can be shipped to overseas customers -- has been vociferously debated since Indonesia was forced out of Timor-Leste in 1999.

After moving ahead in fits and starts, the Sunrise project is now getting closer to reality. This web page will include information and analysis about the project, especially events in 2010. For background and basic information, see the references linked to from the history section below.

Over the last few months, the discussion over Greater Sunrise has intensified, with Timor-Leste’s government, other Timorese politicians and NGOs, Woodside, the Australian government and many commentators offering their views. Timor-Leste media have been filled with polemics and misinformation regarding the Greater Sunrise gas field and the LNG plant that will go with it. 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 reports misrepresent the reality of the situation, which has economic, legal, technical and environmental aspects, not only politics, and we hope that this web page will help people better understand the issue.

History and background

In February 2008, La'o Hamutuk published a book Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges, which is on-line in English and Bahasa Indonesia, with a summary in Tetum. The report includes a history of relevant events from 1970 through 2008. Read the full article here.
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