The Greater Sunrise development, which includes the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields, is located in waters between East Timor (Timor-Leste) and Australia.
Australian petroleum exploration and production company Woodside Energy Group is the operator of the project with 33.44% participating interest. Timor-Leste's national oil company Timor GAP holds a 56.56% stake, while the remaining 10% is owned by Japan’s Osaka Gas.
The two fields were first discovered in 1974.
However, a maritime border dispute between East Timor and Australia delayed the development of the fields.
A new treaty was signed in 2018 which also enabled the two countries to proceed with the development of the Greater Sunrise gas fields together. The East Timor and Australian governments and the Sunrise Joint Venture are holding talks to finalise a new Greater Sunrise Production Sharing Contract.
The fields hold gross contingent resources of 5.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry gas and 225.9 million barrels of condensate.
The project, expected to commence natural gas production by 2028-30, will strengthen the energy and climate security of Timor-Leste. Greater Sunrise will provide Timor-Leste with energy for domestic use as well as for exports.
The Greater Sunrise location details
The Greater Sunrise fields are situated nearly 450km northwest of the Australian city of Darwin and 150km south of Timor-Leste.
The fields are located within the permit areas NT/RL2, NT/P55, Z96-20, and Z95-19.
The permit areas Z96-20 and Z95-19 lie within the Zone of Corporation A (ZOCA), while the remaining permit areas are in Australian waters.
The Greater Sunrise project is expected to have a minimum production rate of 150 MMscf/d raw gas.
The Greater Sunrise Field lies approximately 160m below the water surface. The sea bed sloping increases northward to a depth of around 300m over a distance of 15km.
The Greater Sunrise Field was first discovered in 1974 by drilling the Troubadour-1 exploration well. The Sunrise –1 appraisal well in 1975 confirmed the deposit.
In 1991, Indonesia and Australia signed the Timor Gap Treaty to establish the marine boundaries and create the Zone of Cooperation (ZOC).
The exploration works in the Greater Sunrise Field subsequently progressed.
After the independence of East Timor, ZOC was renamed the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) in 2001.
The drilling of appraisal wells confirmed that both the Sunrise and Troubadour fields extend into the JPDA.
In 1999, Woodside and Shell, a former partner of the project, announced that the LNG project was technically feasible.
Timor GAP acquired Shell and ConocoPhillips’s equities in the project in 2019 for a total consideration of $650m.
Greater Sunrise development will feature production wells and wellstream gathering infrastructure (flowlines and risers), a produced water re-injection well and infrastructure, reservoir production management and wells control and services functions among others.
The subsequent development will involve transporting the gas produced to an LNG plant in East Timor or Australia. The development concept is yet to be finalised.
According to the 2018 Maritime Boundaries Treaty, revenue generated from the Greater Sunrise will be shared 70/30 in Timor-Leste’s favour if the field is developed with a pipeline to Timor-Leste.
If the development concept involves a pipeline to Australia, Timor-Leste’s revenue share will increase to 80%.
The life of the field is estimated to be approximately 30 years.
The front-end engineering and design (FEED) and detailed marine survey (DMS) for the offshore pipeline from the Greater Sunrise field to Timor Leste was awarded to Wood Group Indonesia.