BHP Billiton once again puts its Fayetteville shale gas assets for sale

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, has once again decided to put its Fayetteville onshore natural shale gas assets in the US for sale.

BHP Billiton entered the US shale gas market in early 2011 by acquiring the Fayetteville shale gas holdings in Arkansas from Chesapeake Energy for $4.75 billion and followed it up a few months later by buying Petrohawk Energy for about $12.1 billion.

The company wrote down the Fayetteville shale gas by $2.8 billion a year later when gas prices fell to about $2.00 per thousand cubic feet. this led to its then CEO Marius Kloppers losing his bonus that year.

But in February 2015, BHP Billiton decided not to sell the Fayetteville shale assets, saying that it plans to "maximize value" of the assets, which it had valued at $919 million at the end of 2016.

In a corporate operations review published on Wednesday, BHP said that its Fayetteville field is under review and it is "considering all options, including divestment."

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 not only made some big-ticket acquisitions in the Fayetteville, but also in the Haynesville / Bossier, Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin shale gas acreages in the US.

It holds more than 838,000 net acres in four prolific US shale areas – Eagle Ford, Permian, Haynesville and Fayetteville – where it produces oil, condensate, gas and NGLs.

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.