Australian major Woodside Energy, after its acquisition of BHP’s petroleum business, has decided to exit its exploration portfolio offshore Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, in a move that will see it forfeit more than C$200 million (US$148 million).

In 2018, BHP bid a record C$822 million to secure 100% stakes in promising exploration licences (EL)1157 and 1158 in the Orphan basin — the highest ever bid for offshore acreage in the province’s history.

Up until recently, the company was working up plans to drill a debut wildcat in 2023 after an earlier drilling plan was hit by Covid-19.