BHP Billiton to sell US shale business

Mining giant BHP Billiton will sell its US shale assets after pressure from shareholders to offload the underperforming business. The miner said a number of parties are interested in the assets and it is “actively pursuing options to exit”. Shareholder Elliott Management has campaigned for strategic changes at BHP including the sale of its shale operations. It comes as the company reported $5.89bn (£4.56bn) annual net profit. BHP said on Tuesday that it deemed the shale business “non-core” and was exploring options to offload the assets. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said a number of parties are interested in acquiring its onshore US oil and gas operations, but would not name the price the company is seeking for the assets. BHP’s entry into US shale came at the peak of the fracking boom in 2011. A slump in oil prices slugged the business and forced a $7.2bn writedown last year.