Woodside’s high-stakes BHP merger
DEEP-DIVE: Scarborough LNG is go, decommissioning liabilities be damned
Australia’s Woodside Energy is shouldering billions of dollars of oil and gas decommissioning liabilities to clear the way for its flagship Scarborough LNG project. But the proposed merger with BHP is far from a done deal. If it goes through, the combined company would face complex commercial and strategic challenges which could leave it poorly aligned with the broad trajectory of the energy transition.
Appearances can be deceiving. When major listed companies are negotiating a highly complex multi-billion dollar merger, the facts presented should not always be taken at face value. Australian petroleum company Woodside Energy’s mega-merger with BHP’s oil and gas business is a case in point.
The complexity of the $13.5 billion all-shares combination of Australian operators means no deal can be assured. Decommissioning liabilities and regulatory clearance might scupper talks. And the way the merger is structured means a very different outcome could prevail.
For Woodside, the merger seems t…