SYDNEY, AAP – Oil and gas supplier Woodside will invest $5 billion in low carbon energy by 2030 while still benefiting from its recently-announced merger with BHP’s petroleum business.

Chief executive Meg O’Neill on Wednesday told investors that while she expected liquefied natural gas would remain an important energy source for decades, Woodside should support customers’ efforts to lower carbon production.

Ms O’Neill did not say where the $5 billion will be spent. However the company recently revealed projects in Australia and the US providing cleaner energy.

These include producing hydrogen and ammonia from the Kwinana industrial site, south of Perth. Another project in the Bell Bay area of Tasmania would use hydropower and wind to produce the same energy types.

The first of these projects is expected to be running by the mid-2020s.

Woodside anticipates lesser returns and longer time frames for these projects than its oil and gas ones.

New energy projects would provide a rate of return of more than 10 per cent within 10 years, according to the capital allocation framework.

This compared to returns of more than 12 and 15 per cent, and shorter time frames, for oil and gas.

Environmental groups have criticised Woodside for taking on BHP’s petroleum business and proceeding with the Scarborough gas project off the West Australian coast.

The company claims it will still achieve net zero direct emissions by 2050.