Woodside chief executive Don Voelte has told East Timor it cannot legally block a decision by a Woodside-led consortium to process Timor Sea gas offshore rather than in Dili.
Mr Voelte said the tiny nation of 1 million people was bound by the treaty it signed with Australia in 2006, under which the Sunrise gasfields were to be developed in line with best commercial advantage.
He said the treaty was “very defined, not done under duress and done with much due diligence”.
“They’re walking away from it now?” Mr Voelte said during a joint press conference with Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson yesterday.
“I don’t think it’s going to work. It’ll do them a lot of damage.”
East Timor’s leaders have repeatedly demanded Sunrise gas be piped to a processing plant in East Timor.
They have threatened to block the floating platform concept and the alternative of piping the gas to production facilities in Darwin.
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Mr Voelte said claims made by the Timorese regulator that Woodside had breached its legal obligations by failing to disclose reports and findings on all three possible development plans were “absolutely false”. He said a field development report would be submitted to regulators next week.