Woodside Energy chief executive Meg O’Neill has said there are new potential investment opportunities in the US for clean energy now that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has been passed.
The Australian exploration and production company is leaning into clean energy options with US$5 billion in targeted investments for low-carbon solutions such as hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon capture and storage.
The company’s most developed clean energy project to date is the H2OK project in Oklahoma, in the US.
The project plans to produce 60 tonnes per day of liquid hydrogen in its initial phase, creating a hydrogen transport and supply chain corridor in the region.
O’Neill told Upstream that while this project was being developed long before the IRA was “even an idea”, the law improves the project’s economics.
“When you look at the size of the US market and the number of big businesses that have decarbonisation commitments, hydrogen is going to be needed,” O’Neill said.
“With that in mind, the IRA improves the economics. And the IRA makes the US a very attractive investment destination. So we're looking at other potential investment opportunities here.”
H2OK finished its front-end engineering design last year, has awarded contracts for electrolysers and liquefaction equipment, and is now in the stage of tendering for construction costs.
The project is targeting an investment decision this year, although this is delayed from the original target of 2022 when the project was first announced.
O’Neill said the hydrogen opportunities are “leading the pack” in Woodside’s clean energy ambitions.
Woodside’s strategy with H2OK has advanced the company’s overall strategy with hydrogen, making the technology a more likely solution.
“With our Oklahoma experience, we've got a strategy around where we would want to build similar facilities and what sort of customers we would target. So our thinking around hydrogen projects is more advanced than CCS. But we're keen to get involved in CCS here as well,” O’Neill said.