Shale bears the brunt of BHP's diversity blues

BHP has revised its drilling program in order to conserve cash amid plunging commodity prices, but it remains committed to demerging its non-core assets.

BHP Billiton is moving swiftly and predictably to respond to the extra layer of challenges it faces after the oil price more than halved in the second half of last year, replicating the savage falls in iron ore, coal and copper prices and undermining BHP’s diversified resources model.

The obvious target for conserving cash and capital was BHP’s US onshore oil and gas business, where Andrew Mackenzie had budgeted to invest $US4 billion a year (or about 30 per cent) of his 2014-15 capital expenditures.

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