Woodside Petroleum

Woodside Petroleum

Infobox Company
name = Woodside Petroleum Limited

type = Public (asx|WPL)
foundation = 26 July 1954 as Woodside (Lakes Entrance) Oil Co NL
location = flagicon|AUS Perth, Western Australia,

key_people = Don Voelte, CEO and MD
industry = Energy
products = Petroleum, LNG
revenue = profit $3.81 billion AUD (2006,

[] )
net_income = profit $1.427 billion AUD (2006)
num_employees = ~3000
homepage = []

Woodside Petroleum Limited is an Australian petroleum exploration and production company. It is a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and has its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia.


Woodside was founded in 1954 as Woodside (Lakes Entrance) Oil Co NL. The company was named after the town of Woodside in Victoria, Australia, which was near the area that the company initially explored for oil. [ [ Woodside company history, accessed 20 Aug 2007] ]

Woodside explored for ten years both onshore and offshore Victoria without success. In 1963 the company was awarded exploration rights over a large tract offshore north-western Australia in an area now known as the North West Shelf. Subsequent drilling resulted in a number of major oil and gas discoveries including Scott Reef (now known as Torosa), North Rankin and Angel in 1971 and Goodwyn in 1972.

Woodside is one of Australia's largest companies. It currently employs more than 3000 people at various locations around the world. The company has a market capitalisation of more than AUD 30 billion and reserves at December 2006 of 1.58 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Shell Australia owns 34% of Woodside. [ [ Yahoo Finance - profile for Woodside Petroleum Ltd; accessed 20 August 2007] ]


Within Australia Woodside operates the North West Shelf Venture which comprises a number of offshore gas and gas-condensate fields including Goodwyn and North Rankin. Gas is produced through a pipeline to Karratha, Western Australia where it is processed for Australian and export markets. The company also operated the Legendre oil field off Karratha but sold its interests in this field to Exxonmobil. Woodside currently is the majority stakeholder and operator of the Enfield oil field offshore from Exmouth in Western Australia, the Laminaria-Corallina oil field offshore northern Australia and the Thylacine and Geographe gas fields offshore Victoria in southern Australia.

Exploration and development activities are ongoing in a number of regions outside of Australia including the Gulf of Mexico in the USA.

Woodside announced in September 2007 that it will sell its interest in the Chinguetti oil field, offshore Mauritania to Petronas [ [ Company announcement regarding sale of Mauretania interests, accessed 27 September 2007] ] .


In February 2006, the Mauritanian government led by Ely Ould Mohamed Vall denounced amendments to an oil contract made by former authoritarian leader Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya with Woodside Petroleum. In 2004, Woodside had agreed to invest US$ 600 million in developing Mauritania's Chinguetti offshore oil project. The controversial amendments, which Mauritanian authorities declared had been signed "outside the legal framework of normal practice, to the great detriment of our country", could cost Mauritania up to $200 million a year, according to "BBC News". [cite news | title=Mauritania and firm row over oil | publisher=BBC News | date=February 6, 2006 | url= news | title=Crise ouverte avec la compagnie pétrolière Woodside | publisher=Radio France International | date=February 6, 2006 | url=] The Australian Federal Police in June 2006 were investigating Woodside for allegations of bribery and corruption in Mauritania according to the Sydney Morning Herald [ [ News story on prosecution] ] [ [ Sydney Morning Herald - Business report] ] . The AFP officially cleared the company of any wrongdoing in May 2008.

Woodside Petroleum is currently attempting to have some ancient petroglyphs, or rock art, moved from the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia to access a natural gas supply there. [ [ Save Dampier Rock Art home-page] ] [ [;place_id=105711 Australian Heritage Database] ] Western Australia's Burrup Peninsula is the world's largest outdoor rock engraving site, containing rock art of world importance possibly dating back to 30,000 years ago, including possibly the first ever representation of the human face in history. [ [ Stand Up For The Burrup home-page] ]

It has been suggested that intense lobbying by Woodside Petroleum contributed to the Australian Cabinet deciding against emissions trading in August 2000 [ Guy Pearse, High & Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia's Future, Penguin (Australia) 2007, page 75] ] .


External links

* [ Corporate Website]

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