Woodside embarks on next era of powering the world

Woodside Energy’s next era of operations are set to focus on advancing technology, lowering carbon emissions and creating employment opportunities.

Chief executive officer and managing director Peter Coleman gave insights into the company’s future at the Sydney American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).

Before launching into the company’s future plans, Coleman acknowledged the company’s past and then briefed on the current happenings at Woodside, as it targets final investment decisions on projects worth more than $40 billion.

“Our company is on the cusp of a new era as we prepare to progress the development of the Scarborough and Browse offshore gas fields, building on our existing operations in northern Western Australia,” Coleman said.

Coleman also noted the company’s priority to support the creation of 4000 full time jobs annually over a 40-year timeframe.

Technology was a key point of Coleman’s speech as he urged Australia to follow other countries’ leads and get serious about artificial intelligence (AI).

“Other countries are already manoeuvring to secure a position in the global value chain associated with the expansion of big data,” Coleman said. “Australia needs to be strategic about capturing a competitive advantage.”

Woodside has a dedicated robotics laboratory and data science team which works not only for more efficiency but to solve the industry’s key challenges.

“The biggest real-world challenge is reducing global emissions while extending access to modern energy,” Coleman said.

“We share the aspiration of global carbon neutrality by 2050 that is implicit in the Paris Agreement and we are working on what role we can play in delivering that.”

Woodside has set a target to offset equity reservoir CO2 across its global portfolio from 2021 and an energy efficiency improvement target of five per cent in five years.

Further ahead, the company is aiming to be at net zero for its direct emissions by 2050.

Woodside is balancing working for a lower carbon future while still providing extra energy for exports.

“The stakes are high, we must ensure we do not leave the most vulnerable in our community behind as we navigate the major disruptions of a technology and energy transition,” Coleman said.

“To achieve the dramatic emissions reduction that is required, we need to look at all forms of energy, not just natural gas.”

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