We value the views of our stakeholders and continually seek to better understand and respond to the material issues that concern them.
Woodside considers sustainability issues to be material if they have the potential to impact our ability to achieve our business strategy, our reputation, or are of material concern to our stakeholders.
Each year we conduct a materiality assessment to identify the sustainability issues of significance to our stakeholders and our business. The outcomes of this process guide the content of our Sustainable Development Report. More information on Woodside's materiality process can be found in the Sustainable Development Report 2016.
In comparison to previous years, all material issues have been plotted on our Materiality Matrix. GRI boundaries for material issues can be found in the Sustainable Development Report 2016
Decommissioning, Reserve replacement and Non-operator venture management are identified in the 2016 Sustainable Development Report as being sustainability issues not specifically covered in the report, although the response is provided here on our website.
Decommissioning is an intrinsic part of the life cycle of any oil and gas asset and includes the final disposition of an asset when it reaches the end of production. Decommissioning of an asset involves detailed planning. As an operator we develop a customised decommissioning plan for each asset that identifies an appropriate decommissioning option, meeting regulatory requirements and balancing environmental, safety, social and economic factors.
In 2016, Woodside commenced decommissioning activities on the Balnaves asset where the floating production storage and offloading vessel and associated subsea equipment were removed for recycling and onshore disposal. Plans are underway to complete the abandonment of the subsea wells.
Recognising the likely increase in decommissioning activities in the future, Woodside is active in industry committees to develop guidance for responsible decommissioning practices and work with regulators to ensure that decommissioning activities are completed safely and effectively. Through our participation in the Marine Science Blueprint we have adopted a proactive approach to engaging stakeholders to understand and respond to a wide range of issues and expectations associated with decommissioning.
Reserve replacement forms a part of the maturation of Woodside’s discovered petroleum resources from appraisal studies through to development and production, which is core to the company’s purpose and market value. In 2016, key achievements included a 38.5 MMboe increase in Proved plus Probable (2P) developed reserves and the discovery and acquisition of 694 MMboe Best Estimate (2C) contingent resources. In the past two years, we have acquired and discovered resources equal to more than 30 years of Woodside’s current annual production. These achievements demonstrate a commitment to disciplined, long-term sustainable reserves replacement through the maturation of resources to reserves to production.
The management of Woodside’s reserves is outlined in our Reserves Policy. Woodside, as an Australian company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, reports its petroleum resource estimates using definitions and guidelines consistent with the 2007 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)/World Petroleum Council (WPC)/American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)/Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE) Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS).
Non-operator venture management
Globally Woodside is a participant in a number of non-operated ventures (NOV) that have associated joint venture agreements. Woodside adopts a fit for purpose approach in working with the operator, reflecting the risks of the business and the jurisdiction of the NOV. Woodside has processes in place to manage NOV governance, compliance and assurance as part of the Woodside Management System. Woodside brings significant oil and gas operator capabilities and experience to its NOVs. Each NOV has a Woodside nominated representative who seeks to understand the management of risk and ensure that our policies and expectations are met.