Subject: East Timor threatens to scuttle gas development 


East Timor threatens to scuttle gas development

Posted Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:00am AEDT

East Timor's president Jose Ramos-Horta says his country is serious about making sure its interests are not ignored in the development of the Greater Sunrise Gas field.

East Timor's government wants the gas processing plant built in East Timor.

The field's developer Woodside says it will soon make a choice between building a floating plant in the Timor Sea or a pipeline to Darwin.

Dr Ramos-Horta says it is possible East Timor will not allow the development to go ahead.

"If it's an arbitrary decision that we know is politically motivated, based on prejudices about a small developing country - if the decision is based on that and seems like it's based on that rather than technical and commercial considerations - then obviously we can not agree," he said.

"For Australia, one pipeline more, one pipeline less to Darwin - it wouldn't make a terrible difference.

"But to Timor, it would ensure its prosperity into the future.

"So this is a political question. It's a moral, ethical question besides the commercial consideration."

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