Woodside posts first-half profit of $1.64 billion

Male hand holds smartphone showing Woodside profit listing (woodside super)
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Oil and gas company Woodside Energy recorded a half-year reported net profit after tax of US$1.64 billion—a 414% increase on the corresponding period in 2021. 

Woodside Energy CEO Meg O’Neill said the results reflected strong operational performance and higher realised prices, which more than doubled year-on-year to $96.4 per barrel of oil equivalent across the expanded portfolio. 

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“Our first results since the completion of the merger with BHP’s petroleum business highlight the increased financial and operational strength delivered by our larger, geographically diverse portfolio of high-quality operating assets,” she said.

“Production for the half year was 19% higher at 54.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, benefiting from the contribution in the month of June of the former BHP assets and improved reliability at our LNG facilities. 

“In particular, production from Pluto was increased by the start-up of Pyxis Hub and the commencement of gas flows through the Interconnector pipeline to Karratha Gas Plant. This well-timed investment allowed us to supply three LNG cargoes, one condensate cargo and pipeline gas into a strong market, generating $419 million in revenue and delivering additional value to our shareholders. 

Environmental group Greenpeace Australia Pacific said the results showed a “temporary profit high is underscored by mounting climate risk”, as environmental and market pressure grows around the company’s controversial Burrup Hub gas project.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Clean Transitions Jess Panegyres warned investors that Woodside’s financial spike was destined to be short-lived.

“Woodside’s bullish confidence balances on the temporary global gas price spike, and there is every indication that as climate and economic risks around gas mount up, the house of cards will come falling down, taking shareholders with it,” she said.

“Woodside’s aggressive gas expansion isn’t grounded in climate reality, in a world that is racing to decarbonise. The company has failed to listen to shareholders’ calls to align its climate goals  with the Paris Agreement, and this failure will become the iceberg that sinks Woodside’s buoyant period. In the past fortnight, industry fund NGS Super dumped its Woodside shares after identifying the company as “at risk of becoming stranded assets as the world decarbonises.

Related article: Greenpeace activists block Woodside pipeline shipments

“The International Energy Agency has reinforced that there is no room for new oil and gas production projects in the pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Many of Woodside’s biggest export markets, such as South Korea, China and Japan, have set decarbonisation goals.

“Woodside also faces multiple environmental, regulatory and legal challenges to its aggressive gas expansion plans, which heighten risk for shareholders. Woodside is currently facing two separate legal challenges to its Scarborough-Pluto 2 project and still needs four environmental approvals from the offshore oil and gas regulator, NOPSEMA, for Scarborough to proceed.”

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