Woodside to invest $5b in new energy markets

Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill (Woodside investments)
Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill has unveiled Woodside’s future strategy in an investor update, which includes a new target to invest $5 billion in emerging new energy markets by 2030.

“We expect LNG to remain an important part of the energy mix in our region for decades to come, both as a lower-carbon source of fuel for coal-dependent countries and as convenient firming capacity for renewables,” O’Neill said.

“But our significant investment target in new energy is aimed at positioning Woodside as an early mover in this evolving market and supporting the decarbonisation goals of our customers.

Related article: Woodside to build hydrogen facility in the U.S.

“We have a vision to build a low cost, lower carbon, profitable, resilient and diversified portfolio. Woodside aims to do this by leveraging our world-class Tier 1 portfolio and allocating capital to the right opportunities at the right time.

“Our investment decisions are informed by robust market analysis, so we understand macro trends for our products and a range of outcomes dependent on different climate scenarios. Individual opportunities are assessed through a disciplined capital allocation framework and clear investment criteria, always considering the fit with our emissions reduction targets and shareholder returns.

“Woodside’s success is underpinned by the commitment of our teams and high performing culture, as well as our application of an environmental, social and governance mindset through the organisation.

“In 2021 Woodside delivered on what we set out to do—tackling costs, achieving final investment decisions on the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 projects, continuing delivery of Sangomar and progressing our new energy opportunities – plus we announced a proposed merger with BHP’s petroleum business.

“The rationale for the merger with BHP’s petroleum business is compelling. After completion, Woodside will have a larger, diversified portfolio of long-life assets and increased cash generation to build resilience and support future investment and shareholder returns.

The company’s Scarborough project is facing yet another legal challenge in the Supreme Court by the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), represented by the Environmental Defenders Office.

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Tim Macknay, managing lawyer for the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) said, “It is well established that any additional CO2 emissions take us further beyond what is considered acceptable for a safe climate.

“Any additional CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere increases the risk of bushfires, droughts, heatwaves and other climate-related phenomena which put communities at risk.

“That is why governments and regulators—such as the CEO of the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation—should be doing everything in their power to properly assess and control any additional greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the risks of climate related extreme weather events to the Australian people.”

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