BHP is offloading its oil and gas assets in an all-stock merger of its petroleum division with Woodside, which will create one of the world’s top ten independent energy companies by production.
BHP, the world’s largest miner, announced on Tuesday the mega deal that will combine the oil and gas portfolios of BHP and Woodside to create the largest energy firm listed on the Australian stock exchange, ASX.
The deal will see BHP’s oil and gas business merge with Woodside, and Woodside issue new shares to be distributed to BHP shareholders. The expanded Woodside would be owned 52 percent by existing Woodside shareholders and 48 percent by existing BHP shareholders.
“The combined company will have a high margin oil portfolio, long life LNG assets and the financial resilience to help supply the energy needed for global growth and development over the energy transition,” BHP said.
“Merging Woodside with BHP’s oil and gas business delivers a stronger balance sheet, increased cash flow and enduring financial strength to fund planned developments in the near term and new energy sources into the future,” Woodside said in its statement.
Alongside the merger of its petroleum business, BHP announced today US$5.7 billion (C$7.5 billion) in capital expenditure for the Jansen Stage 1 potash project in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Jansen project “is aligned with BHP’s strategy of growing our exposure to future facing commodities in world class assets, which are large, low cost and expandable,” according to BHP chief executive Mike Henry.
“The world will need more copper and nickel for electrification, renewable power and electric vehicles, iron ore and high-quality metallurgical coal to produce the steel for infrastructure, including that required for decarbonisation, and the potash required for sustainable global food production,” Henry said in a separate statement about the company’s portfolio changes and corporate structure.
Following the announcements, BHP (LON: BHP) shares in London had jumped by 7 percent just after noon local time on Tuesday.