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BHP sells US onshore assets to BP, Merit for $10.8B

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BHP sells US onshore assets to BP, Merit for $10.8B

BHP Billiton Group will get a total of $10.8 billion from the sale of its oil and natural gas assets in the U.S., according to a July 27 release.

Oil and gas major BP PLC will acquire Petrohawk Energy Corp., the BHP subsidiary that holds the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford and Haynesville assets for $10.5 billion. BHP's Fayetteville units BHP Billiton Petroleum (Arkansas) Inc. and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Fayetteville) LLC, meanwhile, will go to Merit Energy Co. unit MMGJ Hugoton III LLC in exchange for about $300 million.

BHP sought a bidding process to seek potential buyers for its shale assets in June. The auction attracted potential suitors like Chevron Corp. and a consortium composed of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Blackstone Group LP, in addition to BP.

BHP decided to sell the assets after it came under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. to restructure its midstream operations and streamline its corporate organization.

The deals are expected to be completed by the end of October.