Woodside share price surges amid potential strike action

Woodside shares are defying looming strike action and pushing higher today.

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Oil miner holding a laptop and mobile phone looks at his phone and sees the falling oil price and falling Woodside share price

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is having a pretty disappointing time of it so far this Thursday. After yesterday's encouraging rise, the ASX 200 has only just lifted into the green so far this session, up a smidge at 0.06%. But it's a whole different story when it comes to the Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) share price.

Woodside shares are having a strong start to the day's trading indeed. Right now, this ASX 200 energy share is up a robust 1.51% from yesterday's closing price of $38.29 and trading at $38.87 apiece at the time of writing.

That puts the Woodside share price up by 10% year to date in 2023 so far, and up 22.3% over the past 12 months.

There's little doubt about what's behind these gains. Overnight, oil prices have surged. As we flagged this morning, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has risen by 1.6% to US$84.26 a barrel, while Brent crude is up 1.5% to US$87.46 a barrel. That's the highest level for oil that we've seen in 2023 to date.

As an oil share, Woodside is highly sensitive to the movements of oil prices. Any commodity-based company's costs are relatively fixed. So when the price of the underlying commodity — in this case, oil — rises, Woodside is able to direct those higher revenues almost straight to its bottom line.

But there's something else to discuss today as well.

Woodside share price rises despite possible worker strike

Woodside's share price gains come amid news that some of its workforce are preparing to put down their proverbial tools.

According to reporting from Reuters, workers at both Woodside's and US energy giant Chevron's liquified natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia voted to strike yesterday. 99% of the 180 persons employed at Woodside's facilities have reported voted in favour of industrial action, which includes the possibility of indefinite strikes.

The report also reveals that this news is already having major impacts on global gas prices.

But this news doesn't appear to be worrying investors on the markets today, judging by Woodside shares' healthy price rises on display.

Woodside is scheduled to report its earnings later this month on 22 August, so watch out for a possible big share price move then.

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 recommended Chevron. 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 Scott Phillips.

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