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BHP takes US$4.9b writedown on US shale

It may abandon its decade-old pledge to maintain or raise its dividend

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PARING: BHP will cut its rig count in the shale unit from seven to five by April, and has put investment and development plans for the remainder of this fiscal year under review.

Sydney

BHP Billiton Ltd said that it expects to take a writedown of US$4.9 billion on the value of its US shale assets due to the tumble in oil prices. Its next safeguard against the commodities collapse may be to abandon its decade-old pledge to maintain or raise its dividend.

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