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December 8, 2021updated 28 Dec 2021 10:09am

Woodside Petroleum’s $5bn emerging energy investments

Woodside has pledged $5bn worth of funding for decarbonisation technologies– including hydrogen and CCS – by 2030.

By Scarlett Evans

Australian petroleum exploration and production major Woodside Petroleum has announced a spate of new investments into energy projects over the next decade, valued at $5bn.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by chief executive Meg O’Neill, who said that the series of investments will seek to progress clients’ decarbonisation efforts, with a focus on supporting emerging clean energy technologies.

“We have a vision to build a low cost, lower carbon, profitable, resilient, and diversified portfolio,” O’Neill said. “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.”

“We expect that in the mid-2020s, the transition to new energy will be underway, including the start up of the first of our own projects,” she added.

The investments will be primarily focused on hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS), though O’Neill also said that Woodside expects its liquefied natural gas assets to remain a core part of the business as the fuel remains a crucial part of the global energy mix to for “decades to come”.

Three hydrogen projects are to receive funding from the company; one in the US and two in Australia. The former will be looking to produce liquid hydrogen, while the latter will develop ammonia from hydrogen. According to O’Neill, these projects will start small, with “the potential to build scale”.

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The investment, however, is not yet confirmed, as Woodside awaits its merger with BHP’s petroleum arm to receive final approval. This $28bn partnership was envisioned as a means of creating a leading oil and gas company, and would see significant cash flow back into Woodside which would support the new investments.

A final vote on the merger is expected in the second quarter of 2022.

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