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BHP Billiton takes $3.3 billion writedown on shale, nickel
SYDNEY (Reuters) - BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) (BLT.L), the world's biggest miner, said on Friday it would take a $2.84 billion writedown on the value of the U.S. Fayetteville shale gas assets it bought in 2011 and a further $450 million writedown for Australian nickel assets.
Analysts had been expecting a writedown of at least $3 billion for BHP's natural gas assets, bought for a total of $17 billion when U.S. gas prices were far above current levels.
BHP said the value of its onshore U.S. shale liquids and gas assets acquired with Petrohawk Energy were not affected by the writedown.
BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers and petroleum head Mike Yeager had requested they not be considered for a bonus in 2012, the company added.
BHP reports annual earnings later this month.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Ed Davies)
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