BHP Could Buy BP Gulf Assets

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BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, could takeover a pair of deep-water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico from partner BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, according to The Australian newspaper. The Mad Dog and Atlantis rigs have not produced any oil since the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that led to the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

BHP (BHP), Australia's largest oil company, has been active in terms of energy acquisitions this year, purchasing almost $17 billion worth of U.S. shale assets. The company is also rumored to be looking at international shale purchases.

BP (BP) was the largest producer in the Gulf prior to the spill, but the company's deep-water efforts there have all about halted since then. The British oil giant has yet to receive permits to restart old Gulf projects or begin work on new wells.

BHP has begun exploration drilling at Mad Dog, but BP currently cannot produce there. The Anglo-Australian company's CEO, Marius Kloppers, would not comment on the potential of acquiring the BP assets, opting to tell reporters to take up the issue with BP, the Australian reported.