Woodside Petroleum Ltd, an independent oil and gas company, engages in the exploration, evaluation, development, production, and marketing of hydrocarbons in Australia and internationally. The company produces liquefied natural gas, pipeline natural gas, condensate, liquefied petroleum gas, and crude oil. Initially Melbourne-based, Woodside was established a year after Australia's first oil discovery, the 1953 Rough Range find near Exmouth. Exploration drilling began in 1967 and major gas and condensate discoveries were made in 1971 at Scott Reef, 425km north of Broome, and North Rankin and Angel, north of Dampier in Western Australia. In 1972, the Goodwyn gas and condensate field was discovered to the west of North Rankin. These fields provided the basis of the $19 billion North West Shelf Project, once Australia's largest resource project.
A contract with the State Energy Commission of Western Australia for the supply of domestic gas to industries and homes was signed in September 1980, and deliveries began in August 1984. The NWS joint venture, with Woodside as operator, started shipping LNG in 1989, the first such exports from Australia.
In 1996, Woodside relocated its head office to Perth.
In 2001, major shareholder Shell sought to take over Woodside but it was foiled when the Australian government blocked the bid.
In 2009, production started at the Woodside-operated Pluto LNG project next to the NWS JV facility at Karratha.