Woodside and BHP have signed off on their vast and controversial Scarborough gas project off the west coast of Australia, but environmentalists have vowed to continue fighting the proposal.
In a statement to ASX on Monday, Woodside confirmed that he completed a previously reported merger with BHP’s oil and gas portfolio.
The companies made a final investment decision by approving the $ 16 billion Scarborough LNG project.
Woodside proposes to develop the Scarborough gas field with offshore facilities linked by a 430 kilometer pipeline to its onshore Pluto LNG plant.
The Pluto facility will be expanded as part of the development, which Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said would put the company on a “transformational path.”
We have signed a binding agreement to merge our oil and gas portfolio with Woodside to create one of the world’s top 10 independent energy companies by production and the largest ASX-listed energy company. Learn more: https://t.co/Jgzyt4QK4e
– BHP (@bhp) 22 November 2021
A Conservation Council of WA and Australia Institute report earlier this year warned that Scarborough would produce 1.6 billion tonnes of additional emissions, “the equivalent of building 15 new coal-fired power plants.”
He said the project was the most polluting fossil fuel development proposed in Australia and would increase WA’s total emissions by almost five percent, or 4.4 million tonnes per year.
There is also concern about the impact of the project on heritage-listed Murujuga rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
Woodside rushing through the FID on the Scarborough gas project – the most climate-polluting project ever proposed in Australia – may well turn out to be one of the biggest reputational self-harm in history of the Australian company. #auspol #ClimateAction
– David Ritter (@David_Ritter) 22 November 2021
CCWA Executive Director Maggie Wood said Monday that a coordinated national campaign would continue to put pressure on the project and its investors.
“It’s far from over,” she said.
“At a time when the world faces the urgent need to reduce emissions and avoid irreversible damage to our climate, this project is an insult to ordinary Australians who will bear the brunt of future extreme weather events and the climate disasters caused. by developments such as Scarborough.
The Australasian Center for Corporate Responsibility said Woodside had “declared war on the climate” and that the project posed an unacceptable level of risk to shareholders.
“Woodside aggressively continues to expand as major trading partners such as Japan and Korea take active steps to reduce demand for LNG, effectively ignoring the risk of stranded assets,” said Climate Director Dan Gocher.
“Shareholders should demand that Woodside abandon its expansion plans.”
“The impacts of emissions produced by the development of Scarborough will not be limited to Washington State. They will be felt globally, including the impacts on our iconic national heritage, such as the Great Barrier Reef. “| Read more: https://t.co/MtvvZ3f9NW
– WA Conservation Council (@ConservationWA) November 19, 2021
Woodside aims to achieve zero direct net emissions by 2050 or earlier and has set targets for reduction of 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
He insists that Scarborough has undergone a thorough review and will provide one of the sources of low-carbon LNG in Australia.
Ms O’Neill said this will contribute significantly to cash flow and returns to Woodside shareholders.
“The development of Scarborough provides value to Woodside shareholders and significant long-term benefits at the local and national levels, including thousands of jobs, tax revenues and the supply of gas to export and national markets for decades to come, ”she said.
Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the news, saying the project would create more than 3,200 local jobs.
The newly expanded Woodside, led by Ms O’Neill, will be 52 percent owned by existing Woodside shareholders and 48 percent by existing BHP investors, with assets stretching from Australia to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
BHP chief executive Mike Henry said the merger would bring value to the resource giant’s shareholders.
“Scarborough will provide a reliable source of LNG for global customers and a secure supply of gas for the domestic market, as well as permanent employment in Western Australia,” he said.
Greenpeace said the project posed a “direct threat to some of Australia’s most extraordinary marine life”.