* Woodside says could help market Shell shares if and when
* Says constructive discussions with East Timor on Sunrise
* Pluto project on track to ship first LNG in March 2012
By Rebekah Kebede
PERTH, Oct 26 Royal Dutch Shell , the
biggest shareholder in Woodside Energy , has given no
indication that it is in any hurry to sell its 24 percent stake
in Woodside, the Australian company's chief said on Wednesday.
"They gave us no indication that they were in a hurry to do
anything at this point," Peter Coleman told reporters on the
sidelines of the Commonwealth Business Forum.
Shell sold down a third of its stake in Woodside last year
and promised not to sell any more until after November 8 this
Woodside has offered to market Shell's stake if and when the
company decided to sell shares, Coleman said.
Coleman said he was "heartened" by constructive discussions
with the East Timor government about the company's stalled
Sunrise LNG project.
Woodside has long argued that the most commercially viable
option for developing the Sunrise gas field, which straddles
East Timorese and Australian waters, is a floating LNG plant,
while East Timor has argued for an onshore plant.
"Nobody changed positions, I didn't expect to because it
wasn't a meeting to go and negotiate," Coleman said.
"What we are going through now is a dialogue. We hope to
establish a path that we can start to move forward."
The talks between Woodside and East Timor are the first
since Coleman took the helm as Woodside's chief. Under his
predecessor, relations between the two parties had soured.
East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta last week expressed
hope that the two sides will make a breakthrough to develop the
large gas project and said his government was "positively
impressed" by Coleman.
Woodside's Pluto LNG project off Western Australia is still
on track to ship its first cargo of LNG in March 2012, Coleman
said, but could not put a date on a final investment decision
date for a second train for the project.
Although Woodside has planned for some time to build a
second LNG train at the Pluto site, it has been delayed in
moving forward with those plans due to a lack of gas resources.
Woodside is in discussions with possible gas suppliers for
Pluto 2 in addition to continuing to explore for gas resources