It hasn't been a great month so far for the Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price

What's been going on with the Woodside share price in August?

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It has been a tough month for the Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL) share price. A collection of developments appears to have rubbed the market the wrong way so far in August.

Specifically, Woodside shares have slid 8.7% since the first trading day of this month. In price terms, the company's value has fallen from $22.14 per share to $20.24. Unfortunately, the downwards trend is continuing today, with the Woodside share price down 0.34% at the time of writing.

Let's take a closer look at what has dampened market sentiment towards the oil and gas company in August.

The month so far for Woodside

The disappointing performance of the Woodside share price in July has only accelerated in August.

At the beginning of the month, it appeared as though shareholders might have more luck in August. Between 2 August and 13 August, shares in the oil and gas company gained 0.23%.

However, the wheels fell off the optimism bus after it appeared more likely that Woodside would be acquiring BHP Group Ltd's (ASX: BHP) petroleum business. At the same time, Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) were working on their own mega-merger.

Some substantial shareholders of Woodside even voiced concerns and discontent for the rumoured proposition. A ~$20 billion proposition that produced concerns regarding a mature asset base, declining production, and heightened exposure to ESG risks. Likely these concerns were shared more broadly, weighing on the Woodside share price.

Then came the barrage of news, all landing on 18 August. This included the confirmation of the BHP oil and gas merger, FY21 half-year results, and new permanent leadership.

Although the company's results looked reasonable — especially its return to profitability — the Woodside share price fell 3.4% during the session.

All in all, shareholders have been left with a lot to consider moving forward. Often unpredictability weighs on equity prices and, for the time being, there is a mound of unknowns for the company as it takes on its new form.

Woodside share price snapshot

Despite a negative thus far, the Woodside share price is still holding onto positive returns over the past year.

At the time of writing, shareholders are 1.2% ahead for the past 12 months. In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has delivered a 22% return to more passive investors.

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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