BP is not on the hunt for US oil and gas deals, says CEO Bob Dudley
A battle between Chevron and Occidental Petroleum to take control of U.S. driller Anadarko Petroleum is fueling speculation about more oil and gas deal-making, but BP CEO Bob Dudley on Tuesday suggested his company will stay on the sidelines.
BP purchased BHP Billiton’s U.S. shale assets for $10.5 billion last year, giving the oil major a foothold in the Permian Basin and other regions where drillers extract oil and gas from rock formations. BP took over those operations last month.
“We’ve got our plate full. It’s the biggest acquisition we’ve done in 20 years,” Dudley told CNBC’s Brian Sullivan at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California.
“So I think we’re fine, not on the hunt, but this doesn’t surprise me we’re starting to see some of the consolidation in the Permian,” he said, referring to the top U.S. shale oil region stretching from western Texas to southeastern New Mexico.
Anadarko’s acreage in the Permian is widely seen as the company’s crown jewel and the biggest prize for the winning bidder. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway entered the fray on Tuesday, committing to a $10 billion investment in Occidental to help the driller acquire Anadarko.
Dudley said BP would not put in a bid to rival Chevron’s and Occidental’s offers for Anadarko.
Dudley expects oil and gas companies to continue striking deals and swapping acreage in order to string together continuous strips of land in the Permian.
Before the BHP purchase, BP’s onshore U.S. operations mostly produced natural gas. Dudley said the “great management team” that oversaw that business will bring their experience from the gas fields to BHP’s oil-rich assets.