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Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman says gas industry ‘out to lunch’

Sydney Morning Herald, July 2017.

Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman has raised the hackles of his rivals, telling the industry it has been ”out to lunch”, taking years to build LNG projects that ran well over budget and only has itself to blame for failing to capture a bigger share of the fossil fuel market. Mr Coleman pointed to the $200 billion figure that is cited for investment in liquefied natural gas over the past 10 years in Australia and said it was nothing to be proud of, given that the original budgeted figure was so much lower.

“Whilst we may wax lyrical about the $200 billion, it actually started as $100 billion,” he told the APPEA oil and gas industry conference in Brisbane on Tuesday. “We didn’t deliver on our promise. We delivered a very expensive energy source,” he said, taking the industry to task for losing discipline in investment, making projects too complex, and losing touch with gas markets.

Some industry executives privately took issue with the criticism, pointing out that Woodside has little recent track record of delivering growth. But others interpreted the comments as a positive call to re-examine established processes and business models, and resolve to do better in future.

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