BP Considers Selling Older U.S. Shale Assets After BHP Purchase

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc is considering selling some of its older U.S. oil and gas fields after buying better quality ones from BHP Billiton Ltd. in July.

The sales will be part of a previously announced plan to offload as much as $6 billion of upstream assets globally to fund a share buyback program of the same amount, London-based BP said in an emailed statement today.

BP is one of the U.S.’s biggest gas producers with assets in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming covering an area the size of New Jersey. But the oil major now wants to focus its capital spending on the shale assets that it agreed to buy from Melbourne, Australia-based BHP in July for $10.5 billion, the company’s biggest acquisition for almost two decades.

“Following the closing of BP’s recently announced acquisition of BHP’s U.S. unconventional oil and gas portfolio, BP Lower 48 may sell a portion of its legacy operating assets in U.S. onshore,” the company said in the statement. BP plans to focus on “higher return assets,” it said.

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