Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said in August, when the proposed purchase of BHP’s oil and gas assets was announced, that selling about 49 per cent of Pluto Train 2 was key to putting the company in a robust position to fund Scarborough and its other commitments.
Without a sale before the planned sanction of Scarborough by the end of this year, Woodside will not only have to fund an additional $US3 billion but also have to explain to shareholders how Scarborough to Pluto can be a sound investment if no one else wants a piece of it.
Last week a group of environmental organisations led by the Conservation Council of WA wrote to Brookfield in Australia and asked it not to invest in Pluto Train 2 as Woodside would not proceed with Scarborough without a sell-down.
“As such, investors in Pluto 2 would be directly responsible for lighting the fuse on this project, as well as directly accountable to the public over its impacts,” the letter said.
Brookfield’s vice chair is former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who as head of transition investing is “focused on the development of products for investors that will combine positive social and environmental outcomes with strong risk-adjusted returns”.