The two groups have entered into a sales and purchase agreement for Shell’s 26.56 per cent interest in the gas fields, which – in addition to the 30 per cent stake it acquired from ConocoPhillips earlier this year – will give the Timor-Leste government a majority stake in the venture.
The resource has remained undeveloped for a number of years as an agreement on how best to develop the acreage has never been reached by the parties involved.
Shell’s US$300 million ($414 million) transaction potentially leaves 33.4 per cent interest holder Woodside Petroleum without an ally in the negotiations that has seen it favour a floating LNG facility over Timor-Leste’s preferred onshore development on its own land.
Shell Australia Executive Vice President Zoe Yujnovich said the company could focus on other Australian assets following the sale.
“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,” she said.
“This sale aligns with our global strategy to reshape Shell into a simpler and more resilient company.
“Our Australian portfolio remains strong as operator of both the QGC onshore natural gas project, Prelude FLNG and significant positions in the Gorgon and North West Shelf LNG projects.”
Timor-Leste Special Representative Xanana Gusmão said the government was pleased with the outcome.
“Timor-Leste appreciates Shell’s willingness to sell its interests in the Greater Sunrise project,” he said.
“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 remaining 10 per cent equity in Greater Sunrise is owned by Japan’s Osaka Gas.
For more information visit the Shell Australia website.
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