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Woodside signs up ex-minister Macfarlane

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Deal-hungry energy giant Woodside Petroleum has appointed former federal resources and energy minister Ian Macfarlane to its board, citing his extensive experience across the resources industry.

Mr Macfarlane quit politics in February following his demotion to the back bench after Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister in 2015.

An attempt by Mr Macfarlane to move to the National Party was blocked in December by the state executive.

"I will now be looking for new challenges to use my wealth of knowledge and experience in the resources, industry and science sectors for the betterment of our great nation," Mr Macfarlane said at the time of his resignation.

In September, the 61-year old was appointed chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council.

Mr Macfarlane was Australia's longest-serving federal resources and energy minister, holding the portfolio from 2001 to 2007.

He was industry and science minister in Mr Abbott's cabinet, his last portfolio prior to retiring.

Woodside chairman Michael Chaney said Mr Macfarlane had more than 14 years' experience in cabinet and shadow ministry positions.

"Mr Macfarlane is held in high regard in the Australian resources industry and brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Woodside board," Mr Chaney said on Monday in a statement.

Cash-rich Woodside is looking for acquisitions across the oil and gas space to boost its earnings pipeline, amid a prolonged slump in energy prices.

In September, Woodside agreed to buy half of BHP Billiton's stake in the Scarborough area gas fields, off the Western Australia coast, for a total of $US400 million.

Mr Macfarlane's appointment as a non-executive director to Woodside's board is effectively immediately.

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