Billiton to spend on shale gas

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The Independent Online

BHP Billiton plans to spend $4.5bn (£2.8bn) developing shale gas in 2012, following two shale gas acquisitions this year. BHP spent nearly $17bn buying Petrohawk Energy and shale gas assets from Chesapeake Energy earlier this year. Its move into the relatively new and contentious energy source has worried some investors, particularly with US gas prices depressed by the supply of shale gas. But the chief executive Marius Kloppers said BHP took a "multi-decade view on price".