Huge Natural Gas Pipeline Envisioned Near Timor

February 2012, Vol. 239 No. 2

A Malaysian company representing Germany's Europipe GmbH is working on a deal to build a much-needed gas pipeline from a massive oil and gas field off the waters of Timor Leste to its mainland.

Petro-Mekong Corp Sdn Bhd, which has been involved in gas pipeline projects in the region, has been instrumental in promoting the plan for landing the gas on Timor Leste. This could potentially lead to other Malaysian companies getting involved in the pipeline project in areas such as pipe coating.

Both parties have conducted a feasibility study for the gas pipeline which would measure more than 300 km and stretching from the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field to Timor Leste's mainland, the sources added. The cost of the pipeline and pipe laying is estimated at US$1-2 billion, while a further US$5-6billion is expected to be spent on building gas separation and processing plants on the mainland in Timor Leste.

The pipeline will be built from the massive Greater Sunrise oil and gas field that lies in the sea between East Timor and Australia. It was discovered in 1974 and according to some estimates, holds in excess of 8 Tcf of gas and 290 million barrels of oil. The oil field is closer to East Timor than to Darwin in Australia, where a large processing plant already receives crude oil and gas via another pipeline from a different offshore field in East Timor.