BHP Billiton to put US shale gas assets up for sale

BHP Billiton to put US shale gas assets up for sale

BHP is likely to place its Fayetteville shale gas assets in the US up for sale, as the world’s largest miner looks to restructure its operations across the oil sector.

The Anglo-Australian firm also announced in its latest operational review that it has cut its production guidance for copper, coking coal and iron ore for 2017.

Andrew Mackenzie, BHP’s chief executive officer said: “Everything we do at BHP Billiton is designed to create value for all of our shareholders, today and for the long term.

“We have fundamentally restructured BHP Billiton to increase returns.”

A sale of the gas-rich Fayetteville field in Arkansas, which was valued at US$919 million by BHP in 2016, was first considered over two years ago and is now currently under review, with divestment a likely path.

In recent years, BHP has made it clear it intends to focus on liquid products in the US, an area it deems more lucrative than dry gas.

This strategy was confirmed by the firm’s recent $2.2 billion investment in the second phase of the Mad Dog oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico.

BHP cited industrial action at the Escondida copper mine in Chile and poor weather in the Australian state of Queensland as the reasons for the slashing of its 2017 production guidance across its mines.