Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price slips but CEO says Ukraine puts ‘spotlight’ on natural gas

Woodside shares have had a wild start to the week…

| More on:
Worker inspecting oil and gas pipeline.

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Key points

  • The ASX 200 has had a great start to the week so far on Monday 
  • But Woodside shares have been on a volatile rise, despite oil prices climbing overnight 
  • What's causing such volatility in energy shares like Woodside? 

A message from our CIO, Scott Phillips:

“G’day Fools. If you’re like us, you’re dismayed by the events taking place in Ukraine. It is an unnecessary humanitarian tragedy. Times like these remind us that money is important, but other things are far more valuable. And yet the financial markets remain open, shares are trading, and our readers and members are looking to us for guidance. So we’ll do our best to continue to serve you, while also hoping for a swift and peaceful end to war in Ukraine.”

————

Even though it’s only around lunchtime, the Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price has already had a wild ride so far during today’s trading. At present, Woodside shares are down 0.63% at $31.78. But soon after market open, Woodside shares were up, and up convincingly. After opening at a flat $32 a share after closing at $31.98 last week, Woodside quickly rose as high as $32.49 in the first hour or two of today’s session. That was a gain close to 1%. But it wasn’t to last.

So what on earth is going on here? After all, oil prices have started the week on the rise. As my Fool colleague James covered this morning, oil was up more than 3% overnight, although that was after a week of heavy falls last week. So it could be some deeper issues that investors are having with the global ructions in the energy market that are currently playing out.

According to a report in The Australian today, Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill reckons the spotlight is now on natural gas, particularly in light of the war in Ukraine. Not only have oil prices exploded in recent weeks, largely due to the fallout from the war, but gas prices have followed suit.

Woodside share price falls, but CEO says gas is the future

O’Neill told the Australian that 20-25% of Woodside’s LNG (liquified natural gas) production in 2022 will be sold at spot prices, which means the company will benefit well from the rising prices. Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe Woodside is in a position to meaningfully make up any shortfalls in the European gas market that have resulted from the sanctions that European nations are placing on Russia: “the transportation costs just make it uneconomic”.

However, she is more excited about the role Woodside can play in helping wean Japan off Russian gas. Japan, the third-largest economy in the world, reportedly “buys between 20 and 25 per cent of Russia’s LNG exports”. Here’s what O’Neill had to say about that opportunity:

What the Japanese do in the short term is a little hard for me to say. Long term, I think Japan will be looking to the question of where should they get their energy from and they will be leaning more towards countries like Australia.

Even though Woodside shares have had a tough day today, the ASX 200 energy giant is still up almost 40% in 2022 so far.

At the current Woodside share price, the oil company has a market capitalisation of $31.01 billion, with a dividend yield of 5.85%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen 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.

More on Energy Shares

A male executive worker wearing glasses and a blue collared shirt looks at his laptop screen with a concerned look on his face and his hand to his forehead as he watches his screen.
Energy Shares

Why did the Woodside share price lag the ASX 200 on Monday?

What went wrong with Woodside today?

Read more »

sad looking petroleum worker standing next to oil drill
Energy Shares

What’s impacting the Santos share price today?

Oil prices have been falling amid speculations of increasing supply and sliding demand.

Read more »

Earnings Results

Beach Energy share price tumbles 9% as production slides

What did Beach Energy report?

Read more »

A woman looks in anticipation at her laptop, watching eagerly.
Energy Shares

Hoping to pounce on AGL shares? Here’s what to watch when the energy giant reports this week

AGL is gearing up to post its full-year earnings on Friday.

Read more »

a man sits on a rocket propelled office chair and flies high above a city
Energy Shares

Up 26% in a month, is the Paladin Energy share price on the comeback trail?

Will this rally stick for the ASX uranium share after a tough trading year to date?

Read more »

boy dressed as an eco warrior and holding a globe.
Energy Shares

Origin share price dips amid fresh climate pressure from shareholders

Shareholders are asking the company to put climate sensitivity analysis front and centre.

Read more »

share price ASX mining shares buy coal miner thumbs up
Energy Shares

Why are ASX coal shares having such a stellar end to the week?

It's proving a cracking end to the week for these three ASX 200 coal shares.

Read more »

share price ASX mining shares buy coal miner thumbs up
Record Highs

Why did the Whitehaven Coal share price just hit an 11-year high?

Whitehaven shares have been on fire in 2022.

Read more »