BHP Billiton to sell U.S. assets for $10.8 billion

MELBOURNE, Australia–BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP, -1.03% has struck agreements to sell its entire portfolio of U.S. onshore oil and gas assets for a combined US$10.8 billion, which the world’s biggest miner plans to return to shareholders.

A subsidiary of BP PLC BP, -1.13% has agreed to buy the BHP business that holds assets in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Permian shale regions of the U.S. for US$10.5 billion, while a company owned by Merit Energy Co. will buy BHP’s businesses controlling assets in the Fayetteville region for US$300 million.

BHP said that with its net debt currently toward the lower end of a US$10 billion-US$15 billion target range, it expects to hand the net proceeds from the disposals to shareholders. An impairment charge of about US$2.8 billion against the carrying value of the U.S. assets will be booked for the 2018 fiscal year.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at [email protected]

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