12 May 2010

Timor-Leste Government again defies Woodside

Sede National do CNRT Rua Nu Laran, Bairro dos Grilos, Dili East Timor (+670) 735 8696
May-11-2010, 7:30Pm

For immediate release


The Government of Timor-Leste has rejected Woodside Petroleum’s claim that it is not viable to run a gas pipeline from the Timor Sea to Timor Leste for processing.

In response to a claim by Woodside Petroleum chief executive officer Don Voelte on the 8th of May, the general secretary of Timor Leste’s main governing party, CNRT, and advisor to the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, Mr Dionisio Babo Soares said, running the pipeline from the Greater Sunrise gas field to Timor Leste remains a practical option.

He added that the Government of Timor Leste would only agree to a proposal from Woodside that had Greater Sunrise gas processed in Timor Leste.

Mr Soares said that the Australia government had encouraged Woodside to present options which did not represent the interest of Timor Leste.

‘Under its ‘best commercial advantage’ requirements, Woodside has only conducted studies that support the interest of the Australian government.’ Mr Soares said. ‘The three options are to build the pipeline from Greater Sunrise oil field to Darwin or a floating processing platform or to Timor Leste.’

Woodside has claimed that for technical and security reasons, the pipeline cannot be drawn to Timor Leste,’ he said.

However, Mr Soares said that the Government of Timor Leste believes that there is no technical reason that hinders the canalization of pipeline construction from the resource oil rich area of Greater Sunrise to Timor-Leste.

Recently, with the help of PETRONAS Malaysia, the Government of Timor Leste conducted a study to test Woodside’s thesis of Timor’s unfeasibility of having the pipeline drawn to its shores. The study, which has not yet been publicly released, clearly shows that there is no technical hindrance for the pipeline to be run to the country, and that the deep trenches theory of the Timor’s Sea is baseless.

‘Timor Leste has also seen improved security since 2007,’ Mr Soares said. ‘There is no reason for Woodside to believe that there is potential security threat in Timor Leste that may disadvantage the project.’

Mr Soares said that Timor Leste had fulfilled all of the conditions necessary to have the pipeline drawn to the country. Mr Soares said: ‘If this project is allowed to proceed, it will boost the local economy and bring extra benefit to the young nation as a whole.’

For further information, please contact: Justa Cooksey 801/591 George St Sydney NSW 2000 0431816584 #Ends

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