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Royal Dutch Shell PLC has followed ConocoPhillips in exiting the Greater Sunrise natural-gas project. $RDSA has agreed to sell its 26.56% stake in the fields off the northern coast of Australia to the government of East Timor for $300 million.

Greater Sunrise Natural Gas Map

The deal means East Timor will now have majority control of the Greater Sunrise gas fields, allowing it to drive plans for the fuel to be piped back to its shores to a proposed plant that would chill it to liquefied natural gas. Conoco sold it's 30% stake last month.

The sunrise site was discovered in 1974 and straddles the maritime border between Australia and East Timor and disputes between the two countries over the border has delayed development. The border dispute was settled earlier this year.

“Although we formed different views about the optimal development scenario, we understand the priorities of the Timor-Leste Government and wish it well in pursuing its aspirations to develop this important resource for the nation,” executive Zoe Yujnovich of Shell Australia said in the statement.

“This sale aligns with our global strategy to reshape Shell into a simpler and more resilient company.” Yujinovich added

The remaining partners in the projext include Australia’s Woodside Petroleum and Japan’s Osaka Gas.  East Timor wants to develop Greater Sunrise by piping gas to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on its south coast, while the project partners have favored a plant in Darwin in north Australia.

“Timor-Leste appreciates Shell’s willingness to sell its interests in the Greater Sunrise project,” Special Representative Xanana Gusmão of East Timor said in the statement. “Shell’s attitude throughout the negotiations shows that it is ready to consider not only its commercial interests but also the interests of small nations.”

The Sunrise and Troubadour gas fields, together known as Greater Sunrise, hold around 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas and about 226 million barrels of condensate

From a Sunburnt country ,,,,,


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