BHP Billiton to sell shale oil and gas assets to BP for $10.5bn

By Galia Ilan

The Melbourne-headquartered mining and metals firm, BHP Billiton, has confirmed the sale of its US onshore shale oil and gas assets.

The company sold the assets to the UK-based petroleum giant, BP, for US$10.5bn.

BHP Billiton is anticipated to have invested $20bn into the oil and gas assets, which it acquired in 2011 for $20bn.

“It was the wrong environment to have bought the assets when they did but this is the right market to have sold them in,” commented Craig Evans, Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund’s Co-Portfolio Manager, claims Reuters.

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The firm has sold its Eagleford, Haynesville, and Permain field assets, with BP paying in two separate transactions – half to be paid upon the completion of the deal and half to be paid in six instalments.

Merit Energy will acquire the remaining Fayetteville assets for $540mn.

“The sale of our onshore US assets is consistent with our long-term plan to simplify and strengthen our portfolio to generate shareholder returns for decades to come,” stated Andrew MacKenzie, the CEO of BHP Billiton.

“This is a transformational acquisition for our Lower 48 business, a major step in delivering our upstream strategy and a world-class addition to BP’s distinctive portfolio,” remarked Bob Dudley, the CEO of BP, in a statement.

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