BHP Billiton sets eyes on Anadarko Petroleum: report

After failing to acquire Rio Tinto and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world's largest miner, BHP Billiton has set its eyes on US-based oil and natural-gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

The paper, without saying where it got the information said that BHP Billiton may make a $90-a-share bid for Anadarko, valuing one of the world's largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies at $45 billion.

Anadarko's stock closed yesterday at $70.73.

Credit Suisse Group analysts wrote in a 17 November report that BHP Billiton may look at energy acquisitions and could target Anadarko. It is one of the sectors where BHP Billiton will not face regulatory hurdles in closing a deal.

Texas-based Anadarko has oil and gas properties primarily in the Rocky Mountain in the US, the Gulf of Mexico and Algeria and holds 2.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of proven reserves as of 31 December 2009.

The company posted net loss of $135 million on revenues of $8.2 billion last year. This was a large decline from its 2008 net income of $3.3 billion on revenues of $15.7 billion.