DILI - East Timor's government may invite Malaysia's Petronas, not Australian energy firm Woodside Petroleum and partners, to develop the offshore Greater Sunrise gas field, a ministry official said on Wednesday.
East Timor separately announced on Wednesday that it has rejected Woodside's plan to develop the offshore Greater Sunrise gas field without building an onshore plant to liquefy the gas.
Our government will not approve their (Woodside's) proposal because they just have two options: one is to bring the pipeline to Darwin and the other is onshore development, and these kind of options do not benefit our country and people, Manuel Mendonca, director of communications in the natural resources ministry, told Reuters.
From East Timor's side, we just want to bring the pipeline to East Timor, and we have differences in position on the options so we will contract another company to develop Greater Sunrise, if Woodside does not change its position, he added.
Mendonca, who is also a party to the negotiations, said Malaysian company Petronas could develop Greater Sunrise instead.
The Malaysian company Petronas is qualified to develop the Greater Sunrise field, he told Reuters.
We have good relations with Petronas and Petronas has helped us do much in the oil sector and they are ready to build LNG plant, said Mendonca.
(Reporting by Tito Belo; Writing by Sunanda Creagh; Editing by Sara Webb)