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Bad news for Timor-Leste as Woodside shelves Sunrise LNG project

The Asian nation relies on petroleum exports for its economy but could see its wells dry within a few years

The news that Australia’s Woodside Petroleum will shelve the proposed Greater Sunrise liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project does not bode well for the impoverished nation of Timor-Leste.Timor-Leste, which is heavily dependent on petroleum exports – more than every nation except South Sudan, Libya and perhaps Equatorial Guinea – could see its existing wells run dry within five years. And that means petroleum revenue would dry up, exacerbating the desperately poor country’s problems. Of course, there is the 5.1 trillion cubic feet Woodside-operated Greater Sunrise field, which straddles Australian and Timorese waters, but that looks set to remain in limbo until at least the next decade.

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