BHP: Petroleum Remains a Core Part of Its Business

BHP: Petroleum Remains a Core Part of Its Business

BHP Billiton PLC (BBL) Tuesday said “petroleum remains a core part of our business, and at this time there is no intention to sell.”

A spokesman for the mining and diversified resources company declined to comment further on speculation, reported in The Independent newspaper Tuesday, that BHP
may be talking to French oil firm Total SA (TOT) with a view to selling its oil interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

The paper’s market report, citing speculation among Australian brokers, said BHP would then use the proceeds to bid for Rio Tinto PLC (RTP) or Anglo American PLC (AAUK).

BHP’s Mexican interests are owned jointly with U.K. oil giant BP PLC (BP), with BHP owning 56% to BP’s 44%, the report said. The report added that the development, called Atlantis, is proving more expensive than BHP expected, and – although the company has told investors that Atlantis is a core asset – it is thought the right offer could tempt the company.

The newspaper report also suggested, citing market speculation, that BHP’s stake is severely undervalued by the market and could be worth up to $40 billion.


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