Woodside tipped as lead contender if BHP quits Australian oil and gas

  • Jul 22, 2021
  • Sydney Morning Herald

Woodside said it did not comment on market speculation. A spokeswoman said the company remained focused on the continued safe execution of its Sangomar oil project in Senegal and achieving its targeted final investment decision on the Scarborough and associated Pluto gas plant expansion project in WA.

As big resources companies come under growing pressure to better align their businesses with global efforts to arrest climate change, BHP last month sold its stake in Colombia’s Cerrejon mine to Swiss miner Glencore and is in talks to sell its last remaining thermal coal asset at Mt Arthur in NSW. Mr Henry has also made a top priority of increasing BHP’s exposure to so-called “future-facing” commodities nickel and copper, which the company says will be increasingly needed to make electric batteries and other clean-energy technology.

Producers of oil and gas are facing escalating investor pressure over fossil fuels’ contribution to global warming and the danger of demand for the commodities falling faster and steeper in the future than previously expected.

While near-term demand is forecast to remain strong for many years, the International Energy Agency released a landmark report in May warning investors must avoid funding any new oil and gas fields if the world is to achieve the international Paris agreement’s aspirational goal of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. The Climate Action 100+ coalition backed by 575 institutional investors last month described the fresh forecasts around the speed of emissions cuts required to slow global warming as a “game-changer”.

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