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BP lines up purchase of BHP's US shale unit

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After submitting a bid thought to be in excess of $10 billion, BP looks set to acquire the US onshore shale oil and gas assets of BHP Billiton. Initially reported by Reuters, a source close to BP has stated that ‘BP and BHP could reach a deal in the coming weeks’.
BHP first announced it was selling its oil and gas assets back in August 2017 following shareholder pressure.
BHP first announced that it was selling its oil and gas assets back in August 2017 following pressure from shareholders unhappy with the declining profits from this segment of the business. BHP’s oil and gas assets consist of four shale basins- Haynesville, Permian, Fayetteville and Eagle Ford- over an 800,000-acre area.

Other companies that are rumoured to have placed bids for BHP’s shale unit include Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. 

Industry analysts argue that the move makes sense for BP, as it is one of the few oil majors not to have a substantial presence in the Permian. ExxonMobil and other have aggressively expanded their operations in the basin, with it potentially becoming the largest oil patch in the world. By the end of the year, the Permian could overtake Iran in terms of production, reaching 4 million barrels a day by 2023 (according to projections by the International Energy Agency).

If the deal goes ahead, BHP’s assets would be a game-changer for BP’s onshore US business, which in recent years has fallen behind its peers. Whilst BP currently has acreage in the Haynesville and Bossier shale plays near the Texas-Louisiana border, the addition of BHP’s assets would substantial increase the British company’s stake in the US shale industry.

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BP lines up purchase of BHP's US shale unit - Time to read 2 min
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