BHP Billiton eyes sales of 10 asset

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company is planning to sell about 10 assets in order to reduce debt and simplify its operations, the company's chief financial officer said over the weekend.

Confirming the CFO's statement, BHP Billiton's spokeswoman, Eleanor Nichols said, "Consistent with our commitment to simplify the portfolio, we continue to selectively pursue asset divestment opportunities, with a firm focus on value."

Nichols was responding to a report in an Australian newspaper that quoted BHP CFO Graham Kerr telling analysts at a briefing last week that the company was focusing on selling at least 10 assets.

Although Kerr did not identify the assets the company plans to sell, he noted that oil and gas assets were the easiest to divest.

The Anglo-Australian miner has over 20 producing assets in the oil and gas sector, with a mix of crude oil, natural gas and shale gas.

BHP Billiton has recently made some big-ticket acquisitions in the Fayetteville, Haynesville / Bossier, Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin shale gas acreages in the US. It is also the operator in two blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. It also has other development projects in the Philippines, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Pakistan, and Malaysia.