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(Updates to add CEO’s comments in fifth paragraph.)
Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, may expand in shale gas outside the U.S. following the $12.1 billion deal to buy Petrohawk Energy Corp. and the purchase of assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp.
“From a medium and long-term strategy, our view is that shale gas will play into the world’s total energy mix and it would be our anticipation that over time we hope to participate in other areas of the world as well,” Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers said today on a call with reporters.
BHP moved into U.S. shale gas this year with the Petrohawk transaction, the Melbourne-based company’s biggest acquisition, and the $4.75 billion purchase of Chesapeake’s Fayetteville shale assets. The Petrohawk purchase makes the company the seventh-biggest independent oil and gas company in the world in total resources, the company said in July.
BHP, Australia’s largest oil producer, also would consider expansion in liquefied natural gas, Kloppers said after the company reported a 38 percent gain in full-year petroleum earnings and a 22 percent increase in oil and gas sales.
“Our ambition is unchanged -- to have many tools in the toolkit,” Kloppers said today on a call with analysts. “We put another tool in with Petrohawk in terms of unconventional gas, and we will build on that.”
BHP is a partner in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s proposed Browse LNG project in Western Australia. The company also has said a potential LNG venture with Exxon Mobil Corp. relying on the Scarborough and Thebe fields off northwest Australia may cost as much as $20 billion to develop.
--Editors: Rebecca Keenan, Baldave Singh
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