Woodside Petroleum Ltd. announced that US$bn savings could be made by using floating LNG, but East Timor prefers onshore options.
During a conference in Sydney, the Australian oil and gas producer, promoted use of floating LNG between Australia and East Timor. Don Voelte, Chief Executive for Woodside, said that processing gas from the Greater Sunrise field on East Timorese shores would be approximately $5bn more expensive than using a floating liquefied natural gas vessel.

However, earlier this week, East Timor said that an onshore plant “is the only way forward”. Woodside must secure approval from both the Australian and East Timorese governments before plans can commence.

Voelte anticipated that development of Greater Sunrise will generate about $13bn in royalties for East Timor over the life of the project and about $19bn for Australia. Forecasts were based upon the Sunrise joint venture’s modelling.

The Sunrise Joint Venture development which Voelte described as, ‘the quiet achiever in our portfolio’ has unanimously opted for the floating LNG facility. Woodside prefer this option for several reasons, including, reduced capital costs, a lower environmental footprint and the ability to monetise offshore stranded gas.

If the Sunrise FLNG prospect goes ahead it will join a cohort of other emerging floating LNG developments. Among these are the Petrobras facility in Santos Basin, Inpex’s venture in Indonesia and Shell’s plant in Prelude, Australia.