quinta-feira, 21 de abril de 2011

Parting comments of Woodside CEO dishonour Timor-Leste

April 21, 2011
Díli, Timor-Leste

In a press conference after Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting of Woodside Petroleum, the outgoing CEO, Mr. Don Voelte, accused the Government of Timor-Leste of acting against the interests of its people by “objecting to Sunrise being built”. He admitted that he “didn’t get it”, going on to say the Government “must be objecting to promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of their people.”

Firstly, the Government of Timor-Leste takes this opportunity to wish Mr. Voelte the very best in his future endeavors. It is regrettable however, for both the people of Timor-Leste and Woodside shareholders that Mr. Voelte “doesn’t get it”.

To be perfectly clear the Government and the people of Timor-Leste want Sunrise to be built. The nation looks forward to the benefits that can and will flow to the Timorese people.

In fact it is precisely the Government’s commitment to promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of the Timorese people that drives the desire to see the development piping Sunrise LNG the short distance to the shores of Timor-Leste. The desire for on shore piping of Sunrise LNG is deeply held by all political parties and sectors of Timorese society.

Not even Mr. Voelte could deny that this option will provide the best outcome for the people of Timor-Leste compared to Woodside’s proposed Floating LNG Technology. One only has to look at the benefits enjoyed in Darwin that have flowed from the piping of LNG from the Bayu-Undan field. In terms of jobs, industry, and sustainable economic development this is what Mr. Voelte would call a “no brainer” – clearly the best development choice for promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of the Timorese people.

As far as the Government of Timor-Leste is concerned, negotiations continue with the Australian Government through the frameworks set up by the treaties and the Government will continue to honour the established mechanisms for continued negotiation. These mechanisms are to ensure the integrity of the process and will not be subverted. Despite Mr. Voelte’s claims that Woodside have “done everything right”, delays have occurred because of Woodside’s cited issues of non-compliance. One of the most significant of these was caused by Woodside’s reluctance to prepare and deliver the development materials as required by the regulator. Issues around which development option constitutes “best commercial advantage” and “best oil-field practice” as required by the treaties continue to be considered by both Timorese and Australian regulators.

As for Mr. Voelte’s remarks bringing into question the measurement of the Government on nation building after “10, 11 12 years” Spokesperson for the Council of Ministers, Ágio Pereira noted, “we assume Mr. Voelte refers to the first, second, third and fourth constitutional Governments since independence was restored in 2002 and questions principally the significant achievements of previous Governments and the current AMP Government. In this case, again it is regrettable that the CEO ‘doesn’t get it’; and whilst this release will not dignify such ill suited and inappropriate comments with a long response, a simple familiarity with the situation the nation was in 2002 compared to the social, economic and human indices of 2011 reflecting a nation which had suffered and is now unified to reach our current status, will provide his answer. The Government of Timor-Leste looks forward to the development of Sunrise and continuing negotiations through the agreed mechanisms.”ENDS

Ágio Pereira
The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste
Ágio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail: agio.pereira@cdm.gov.tl or govtlmedia@gmail.com
Website: www.timor-leste.gov.tl