SYDNEY: Australian energy firms Santos and Woodside Energy were in talks Friday to create a massive oil and gas firm potentially worth more than US$50 billion.
The firms — under pressure as the world eyes a shift to renewable energy sources — are holding exploratory talks to create what would be one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters.
The firms confirmed “discussions regarding a potential merger” late on Thursday.
Woodside, the larger of the two companies, stressed that “discussions remain confidential and incomplete”.
“There is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction,” the firm said in a statement to the Australian stock market.
Santos’s share price surged by almost 7% in early trading Friday.
Both companies face mounting hurdles for new projects as regulators factor in climate impacts, and investors grow cagey about fossil fuels.
Australia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of natural gas.