Woodside May Quit Gulf of Mexico

Woodside Petroleum may pull out of its long-term exploration in the offshore Gulf of Mexico region, the Australian Financial Review reports Friday.

New Woodside chief executive Don Voelte told the newspaper that he preferred to build dominant positions in which Woodside could determine the paces of exploration and development.

Just six weeks into the role, Voelte told the newspaper the Gulf of Mexico is "not frontier exploration by any means; it's a very mature basin." He said he'd prefer to study Woodside's position in the region further.

Voelte, a former executive with ExxonMobil and then Arco, also told the newspaper that while acquisitions would be an important part of Woodside's growth, the company was more likely to seek specific assets then launch takeovers for whole companies.