Sydney (AFP) – The world's largest mining group BHP announced Friday that it was selling its US oil and gas assets to BP for $ 10.5 billion – a heavy loss, but a potential stroke of luck for shareholders.
The Anglo-Australian company spent $ 20 billion to acquire the assets in 2011, but the sector later experienced a fall in prices and hammered profits.
This prompted BHP to announce plans to end the deal last year.
With Net Debt Present At the bottom of the $ 10 to $ 15 billion target range, the money raised is to be returned to shareholders through dividends or share repurchases.
"We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to sell all of our shale assets in two simple transactions that provide security for our shareholders and employees," said BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie.
"The sale of our onshore assets in the US is in line with our long-term plan to further simplify and strengthen our portfolio of shareholders The price and yield for the coming decades."
Under this transaction, BP acquires American Production Company, a subsidiary of the British giant, the Petrohawk Energy Corporation for 10.5 billion dollars, which holds the assets of Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Perm
In a separate transaction will become a unit of the privately held Merit Energy BHP Billiton Petroleum (Arkansas) Inc. and BHP buy Billiton Petroleum (Fayetteville) for $ 300 million
Both sales are expected to close in late 2006 At the end of October, the BHP share price rose 2.22% to hit 34% $ 38 in early trading on Friday.
The move followed last year when New York-based Elliott Advisors, a major shareholder in the company, restructured BHP (19659011) – "world-class" –
In addition to its spin-off of South32 in 2015, BHP has now more than $ 18 billion in disinvestments announced or completed over the past six years  It is part of the plan to focus on the most profitable core long-life activities – iron ore, copper, petroleum, coal and potash ,
BHP said it would expect a one-time post-tax charge of approximately $ 2.8 billion next year due to BP and merit energy deals.
Although slaughtering for BHP proved to be a poor investment, BP boss Bob Dudley called the company "world-class" with rising oil prices boasting of their prospects.
"This is a transformative acquisition … an important step in implementing our upstream strategy and a first-class complement to BP's distinctive portfolio," he said in a statement.
"Given our confidence in BP's future, backed by additional profits and cash flow from this transaction, we are increasing the dividend, reflecting our long-standing commitment to growing payouts to shareholders."
The Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Perm Fields produce oil to the gas, which is sold to both US and international customers and produces around 58.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe / d) annually.
BP is already a major operator in the US in the oil and gas sector, pumping 315,000 boe / d in five states each year.