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Woodside Plans to Buy BHP Petroleum Business

BHP has confirmed its plan to sell its entire oil and gas portfolio, with fellow Australian company Woodside Petroleum. Rumours had been swirling for weeks that BHP was looking to exit the oil and gas game, with Woodside touted as a potential buyer of either the company’s Australian portfolio or wider international portfolio, which includes assets in the US Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Algeria.

Both companies had refused to comment on media speculation in recent weeks, however, both broke their silence on Monday, confirming a potential deal was being considered. A spokesman said that Woodside Petroleum is engaged in discussions with BHP regarding a potential merger involving BHP’s entire petroleum business through the distribution of Woodside shares to BHP shareholders.They also added that these discussions are ongoing. Woodside Petroleum will continue to update the market with its continuous disclosure obligations. BHP also confirmed the talks on Monday, stating it regularly reviewed its portfolio of assets to seek opportunities to maximise long-term shareholder value.

The company said that BHP confirms that they have initiated a strategic review of the Petroleum business to re-assess its position and long-term strategic fit in the BHP portfolio. The deal could come to light this week, with BHP due to release its earnings for the Australian financial year, which ended 30 June, on Tuesday, while Woodside will release its half-year report on Wednesday.

They also confirmed the discussions with Woodside. While discussions between the parties are currently progressing, no agreement has been reached on any such transaction. The acquisition of BHP’s petroleum division would see take on its compatriot’s 25% stake in Scarborough, giving it a 100% share in the proposed development.

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