BHP sees acquisitions possible for petroleum business

FILE PHOTO: Visitors to the BHP (formerly known as BHP Billiton) booth speak with representatives during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - BHP Group Ltd BHP.AXBHPB.L may pursue acquisitions to help grow its petroleum business but sees exploration as the highest returning way to add resources, the head of the unit said on Monday.

“We continue to see that as a mechanism that we could use to grow value in the portfolio,” BHP’s petroleum operations president, Geraldine Slattery, told analysts at a briefing, when asked about mergers and acquisitions.

She was speaking at a briefing where the company, which has had to fight off pressure from some investors to shed its petroleum business over the past few years, said it expects strong returns from oil and some gas assets for the next few decades.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Himani Sarkar