(Reuters) – BP Plc (BP.L) is in the lead to acquire the U.S. onshore shale assets of BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX) (BLT.L) after submitting an offer worth well in excess of $10 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
BP is the front-runner in the auction for the assets run by BHP, and could reach a deal in coming weeks, the sources added, cautioning that an agreement is not certain and it is possible that negotiations could end unsuccessfully.
The exact terms and composition of BP’s offer could not be learned. The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. BP and BHP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reporting by David French, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski