Subject: AU: East Timor wants Sunrise on island

The Australian

October 26, 2005 Wednesday All-round Country Edition

East Timor wants Sunrise on island

Nigel Wilson, Energy writer

EAST Timor has resumed talks with Woodside in a bid to have the Greater Sunrise liquefied natural gas plant located in that country.

Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta has confirmed the talks but emphasised they have nothing to do with the long delay in reaching final agreement with Australia on Timor Sea revenue sharing.

Speaking ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting this week in Port Moresby, Dr Ramos Horta said his Government had been pursuing talks with Australia on a comprehensive draft agreement covering Greater Sunrise. "The Government of East Timor believes that it would make much more commercial sense for the pipeline (from Greater Sunrise) to come to East Timor as that would reduce the distance by almost two-thirds," he said.

Dr Ramos Horta said talks on the maritime boundary were tied up over crucial details "almost entirely on a particular clause". It is understood this relates to determining which country is responsible for environmental aspects of oil and gas extraction in the period covered by the agreement.

Under the proposed revenue sharing arrangement, the two countries will set aside the boundary claims for 50 years in exchange for Australia providing East Timor with $13 billion in revenue.

Dr Ramos Horta said it was the view of the two sides "that we should observe a moratorium on maritime boundary limitation for a period coinciding more or less with the life of Greater Sunrise while at the same time we should have a 50:50 share of the resources".

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