Australia-based mining giant BHP Billiton might expand in shale gas outside U.S. after entering sector earlier in 2011 by buying Petrohawk Energy and assets from Chesapeake Energy, might also expand in LNG, says company's head

LOS ANGELES , August 25, 2011 () – BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, might further expand in shale gas outside the U.S., said the company’s head today, reported the San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 24.

Earlier this year, the Melbourne-based company entered the shale gas sector through U.S. acquisitions, buying Petrohawk Energy Corp. and assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp.

According to the company’s medium- and long-term strategy, BHP would like to “participate” in the anticipated global demand for shale gas in other areas of the world besides the U.S., said CEO Marius Kloppers.

The company is also considering expanding in liquefied natural gas (LNG), Kloppers said, on a call with reporters, noting that BHP’s strategy remains to “have many tools in the toolkit,” the Chronicle reported

BHP is a partner in the Browse LNG project proposed in Western Australia by Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

In another potential LNG venture that BHP estimates could cost as much as US$20 billion to develop, the company would partner with ExxonMobile Corp. in the Scarborough and Thebe fields off northwest Australia, reported the Chronicle.

In its largest purchase ever, BHP bought Houston-based Petrohawk Energy for US$12.1 billion earlier this year, making it the world’s seventh-largest independent oil and gas company in total resources, the company said in July.

Also this year, BNP bought Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Chesapeake’s Fayetteville shale assets in Arkansas for $4.75 billion, the Chronicle reported.

The primary source of this article is the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, California, on Aug. 24, 2011.

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