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Aker Maritime to decide on building site for offshore plant: May build in East Timor

Aker Maritime is presently looking into the possibilities of building an offshore LNG plant for gas from the Bayu Undan Field in the controversial Indonesian/Australian zone of cooperation (Timor Gap). Last September two representatives from the company visited East Timor to assess the consequences of building the plant there. Aker Maritime has no misgivings about a possible construction project in the occupied country. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously advised Norwegian companies to refrain from doing business in East Timor.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
Aker Maritime is presently looking into the possibilities of building an offshore LNG plant for gas from the Bayu Undan Field in the controversial Indonesian/Australian zone of cooperation (Timor Gap). Last September two representatives from the company visited East Timor to assess the consequences of building the plant there. Aker Maritime has no misgivings about a possible construction project in the occupied country. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously advised Norwegian companies to refrain from doing business in East Timor.


By Morten Rønning
Norwatch

The Tiga Consortium, of which Maritime owns 10%, is now assessing several construction sites on behalf of the Australian company Broken Hill Property (BHP), both in Indonesia and Australia. BHP and Phillips are joint operators on the large Bayu Undan Field, 500 kilometers north of Australia.

The Bayu Undan Field is situated in the zone of cooperation in the Timor Sea, where Statoil also has operations. In this zone, tax revenues are divided equally between Indonesia and Australia. The agreement governing the activities (Timor Gap Treaty), has not been recognized by the UN nor the International Court of Justice in The Hague. (See NorWatch Newsletter 10/97.)

The two companies disagree as to where a possible LNG plant should be located. Phillips favors a landbased plant near Darwin, Australia, whereas BHP wants an offshore plant, an artificial island standing on the bottom of the 27-meter deep ocean floor, close to the oil and gas wells.

Several possibilities
The construction site for this offshore plant, which will be 250 meters long, 100 meters wide, and 65 meters tall, must meet special requirements.

The plant will be built in shallow waters, and access to raw materials, including sand, is important. When the plant is completed, it will be towed to the field. Indonesian media believe the construction will create 1000 jobs.

The Tiga Consortium has visited several possible construction sites. Indonesian media say that last September six representatives of the consortium, including 2 persons from Aker Maritime, visited Liquica in East Timor.

This is confirmed by Aker Maritime. The consortium is keeping BHP updated on its assessment concerning the different options.

"We have made no political assessments in this process."
Knut Borgen of Aker Maritime.

No political assessment
The Tiga Consortium has been contracted by the BHP to make its assessments. Senior Vice President Knut Borgen of Aker Maritime tells NorWatch that both countries in the zone of cooperation obviously want to take part in the industrial development in connection with the oil and gas activities. According to Borgen, Aker Maritime has no preference as to where such a plant should be built, and says the BHP is ahead of them in this matter.

- But has Aker Maritime no misgivings about starting construction in an occupied country?

- No, we have made no political assessments in this process.

- So if the BHP chooses East Timor, you will build the plant there?

- Yes, we would accept such a solution, says Knut Borgen.

Stage 2
An LNG plant in association to the Bayu Undan Field is part of stage 2 of the development of the field. According to the plan, oil recovery (stage 1) will start this year.

The Tiga Consortium is also making assessments concerning a production plant for this activity. The consortium is in charge of designing a production ship for the storage and export of condensate. The contract is worth NOK 50 million, and if the ship should be built, the consortium could land contracts for another NOK 350 million. This operation is run from Melbourne, Australia.

The Future in Our Hands Norway would like to hear the new government's view of Norwegian activities in occupied East Timor, and feels that Aker Maritime should reconsider its involvement.

The Tiga Consortium
The Tiga Consortium, comprising the US company Fluor Daniel, the Australian company Worley, and Aker Maritime (10%), is presently assessing the possibilities for construction of an offshore plant for LNG production on the Bayu Undan Field in the zone of cooperation between Indonesia and Australia. Representatives from Tiga have visited East Timor and looked into the possibilities to build the plant there.

Norwatch Newsletter 1/98

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