Woodside Petroleum, the biggest independent and dedicated oil and gas operator in Australia, has reportedly announced that its shareholders have approved the proposed merger with the Australian-British mining company, BHP Group’s petroleum unit to establish a top 10 globally independent oil and gas supplier worth $40 billion.
as per vote results at Woodside’s annual meeting, the deal received 98.66% of the total final votes.
The merger, which was announced in August, boosts BHP's efforts to transition away from fossil fuels as it seeks to decarbonize while tripling Woodside's oil and gas output and bolstering its growth funding.
Meg O'Neill, Woodside’s CEO, told shareholders that the deal allows Woodside to contribute more to the world's expanding energy demands while also gaining the scale, resilience, and variety needed to survive during the energy transition.
BHP shareholders will own 48% of the merged entity, which will have assets in the United States, Australia, Mexico, Trinidad, and Senegal.
While shareholders backed the acquisition, they were dissatisfied with Woodside's climate strategy, which lacks targets for decreasing Scope 3 emissions (emissions from consumers).
The climate strategy, which Woodside put to a consultative vote for the first time, received over 49% of the vote. Two proxy experts advised against voting for the program.
Richard Goyder, Woodside Petroleum’s chairman, asked to turn off the mic after a proxy for a shareholder asked if the firm's intentions to invest in fossil fuels were 'economically mad, morally mad, or both', to which the chairman answered, 'or neither'.
Goyder, still believes the corporation needs to interact more often with shareholders to clarify how its objectives align with the Paris Agreement's goals.
Woodside's Scope 3 strategy, according to O'Neill, is to develop clean products for its users, such as hydrogen.