The shale gas revolution is igniting BHP's US fortunes

BHP Billiton's costly plunge into the US onshore gas business was initially seen as controversial, but the company is now reaping the rewards from its liquid-rich assets.

BHP Billiton might be committed to rationing capital across its portfolio but it seems that commitment doesn’t extend to its US onshore gas business.

Even with the more frugal mindset established by Andrew Mackenzie, BHP continues to plough $US4 billion a year into the US shale gas business established, at a cost of about $US20bn, by former chief executive Marius Kloppers three years ago.

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