Woodside Petroleum linked to bid for all of BHP’s oil and gas assets

An unsourced media report today has linked Woodside Petroleum with the acquisition of 100% of the oil and gas assets owned by mining giant BHP.

Analysts and an investor referenced in a Reuters article claim that Australia’s top independent gas producer is in talks with BHP with regards to its oil and gas business, which includes assets off the coast of Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and in the Gulf of Mexico.

BHP and Woodside declined to comment on what both companies called ‘market speculation’.

“We remain focused on the continued safe execution of our Sangomar project in Senegal and achieving our targeted final investment decision on the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 developments in Western Australia,” a Woodside spokesperson said in an emailed comment to Reuters.

Woodside’s share price fell in the wake of the acquisition rumours, revealing investor fears that the company would need to sell new shares to buy some or all of BHP’s oil and gas assets – valued at around $10-15 billion – on top of spending on its Australian and Senegal projects.

Simon Mawhinney, chief investment officer at Allan Gray Australia and a Woodside shareholder, described that scenario as ‘unpalatable’ and ‘disappointing’ unless BHP were to gift the assets to Woodside.