BHP Billiton Buying Petrohawk For $12.1B

BHP Billiton Ltd. will buy U.S.-based oil company Petrohawk Energy for $12.1 billion in cash, giving it greater access to U.S. shale gas assets.

SYDNEY (AP) -- BHP Billiton Ltd. says it will buy U.S.-based oil company Petrohawk Energy for $12.1 billion in cash, giving it greater access to U.S. shale gas assets.

The world's largest miner said Friday it would pay $38.75 for each Petrohawk share in an all-cash tender offer. The total value of the deal is $15.1 billion, including Petrohawk's debt.

The acquisition will give BHP assets covering about one million acres in Texas and Louisiana, with an estimated 2011 production of 158,000 barrels of oil equivalent each day.

The deal comes just months after BHP bought a $4.75 billion stake in a shale gas field in Arkansas. That marked the BHP's first move into the rapidly growing U.S. shale gas business.

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