A joint venture (JV) formed by Woodside Energy Group Ltd., Osaka Gas Australia and Timor-Leste’s state-owned Timor Gap is studying development and LNG production from the Greater Sunrise natural gas fields near the Southeast Asian island.

The partnership, called Sunrise Joint Venture, will expand on previous efforts to evaluate the feasibility of producing and shipping liquefied natural gas from the Greater Sunrise fields near Timor-Leste, as opposed to transporting gas to Australia, according to the group.

As Australia’s sources of feed gas from maturing fields like the Bayu-Undan in the Timor Sea gradually diminish, Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said it was time to take another look at whether advanced technologies, such as modular LNG trains, could make Sunrise development attractive and sustainable.

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“Against a backdrop of global geopolitical instability and constrained energy supply chains, there is an opportunity for the Sunrise Joint Venture to significantly advance this regionally important project,” O’Neill said.

The fields were discovered in 1974 in the waters southeast of the island, also known as East Timor, near the Bayu-Undan offshore field. The discovery comprises both the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields, which hold an estimated 5.3 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas and 226 million bbl of condensate.

Studies of the fields’ development and utilization for LNG have been explored for decades, but recent progress has mostly been halted due to questions of revenue splits and the location of a liquefaction hub.

Along with the concept studies, the JV is participating with the Timor-Leste and Australian governments to negotiate a production sharing contract and other agreements before the project can proceed.

The JV is majority owned by Timor Gap (56.56%), with Woodside (33.44%) acting as operator. Osaka Gas Australia (10%) is a unit of Japan’s Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., one of the largest global LNG importers and an equity holder in several Australian and U.S. export projects.