East Timor: Dili buys majority stakeholding in Greater Sunrise

Representatives of East Timor and oil companies ConocoPhillips and Shell signed on Tuesday in Singapore the final document through which the country is buying a majority stakeholding in the Greater Sunrise Consortium in the Timor Sea.

The document was signed by Xanana Gusmão, on behalf of East Timor, the chair of ConocoPhillips, Chris Wilson, and the vice chair of Shell, Cecile Wake, in a short ceremony in a lawyers’ office 24 hours after the $650 million (€575 million) for the deal were transferred to the oil companies.

Formally, the stake was bought by the Timorese Timor Gap oil company through four subsidiaries specially created for this deal.

The deal, which was agreed last year, means that East Timor will own 56.6% of the project consortium that also includes Australian company, Woodside, as the operator, and Osaka Gas.

In a recent interview with Lusa, the chairman and CEO of Timor Gap, Francisco Monteiro, said East Timor wants to avoid resorting to the Oil Fund to finance the capital costs of up to $12 billion (about €11 billion) to develop the gas pipeline project to East Timor and the processing plant on the south coast.

Once production starts, it is expected there will be a financial return of $28 billion (€24.7 billion), he explained.