Woodside Energy leads transformation in Energy Sector: CEO Meg O’Neill

CEO and Managing Director Meg O’Neill
CEO and Managing Director Meg O’Neill

LONDON: In a year marked by both triumph and tragedy, Woodside Energy has emerged as a leader in the energy sector’s transformation. CEO and Managing Director Meg O’Neill reflected on the company’s journey through 2023, a year of record production and strategic advancements, but also a year marred by the loss of a colleague at the North Rankin Complex.

Under O’Neill’s leadership, Woodside has doubled down on its commitment to safety, commissioning an external review of its safety systems following the tragic incident. The company’s strategy to thrive through the energy transition is built on three pillars: providing essential energy, creating and returning value, and conducting business sustainably.

2023 saw Woodside achieve a record full-year production of over 187 million barrels of oil equivalent, a testament to the benefits of merging with BHP’s petroleum business. The company’s LNG plants operated at 98% reliability, contributing to this milestone. Despite economic pressures, Woodside reported a substantial operating revenue of $14 billion, with a net profit after tax of $1.7 billion and an underlying net profit of $3.3 billion. Shareholders reaped the rewards, receiving dividends worth 140 cents per share, totaling more than $2.6 billion.

Woodside’s commitment to reducing emissions is on track, with a 12.5% reduction in net equity Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its starting base. The company aspires to achieve net-zero equity emissions by 2050 or sooner, with a focus on design-out and operate-out solutions. The proposed Woodside Solar project and a $335 million investment in new energy products and lower carbon services highlight Woodside’s dedication to sustainable energy solutions.

The company’s global expansion post-merger has introduced new opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States. Key growth projects like Sangomar, Scarborough, and Trion are progressing well, with Sangomar nearing completion and Scarborough on track for its first LNG cargo in 2026.

Woodside’s sustainability efforts extend beyond production. In 2023, the company invested A$33.3 million in community development and partnerships. Its LNG plays a crucial role in Asia’s decarbonization and economic growth, with Woodside’s WA assets supplying 19% of Western Australia’s domestic gas.

As the company navigates the complexities of climate change, O’Neill assures stakeholders that Woodside will set realistic goals and make science-informed decisions. The company’s 70th year sees a team that is skilled, diverse, and committed to delivering a strategy that ensures safe, reliable, and affordable energy.

In closing, O’Neill extends gratitude to shareholders, board members, and the dedicated Woodside team, emphasizing that energy is not just a commodity but a life-transforming resource.

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