BHP exits Indian assets following regulatory delay

Suzie Neuwirth
FTSE 100-listed miner BHP Billiton yesterday said it has pulled out of some of its oil and gas interests in India, following a portfolio review and due to an inability to carry out exploration operations there.

The Anglo-Australian firm did not clarify its decision to withdraw from nine oil and gas exploration blocks, but local media reports say it is due to delays in clearances from the Indian government.

BHP Billiton had previously said that it was facing delays in receiving licences.

The firm said it will retain its 50 per cent stake in an Indian asset that is operated by BG Group and that it is currently awaiting the results of a seismic survey.

India, the world’s fourth-biggest importer of fuel, is looking to boost foreign investment into its energy sector but global players have tended to be deterred by the country’s regulatory system, which is perceived as slow and bureaucratic.

BHP’s shares closed up 0.64 per cent.