BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) chief executive officer Marius Kloppers recently stated he's interested in acquiring assets held by BP (NYSE:BP) in the Gulf of Mexico if they become a seller in distress.
Kloppers added that companies in these types of situations tend to hold on to their higher quality assets, implying there probably wouldn't be an interest in lower-performing units of the oil giant.
Rumors have been floating around that BHP could be interested in the Atlantis and Mad Dog fields of BP, but this seems to be unlikely in light of what Kloppers said.
"Marius said if the right assets came up at the right price, BHP would increase its exposure in the Gulf of Mexico," Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analyst Craig Campbell said in a note. "That said, he noted during the global financial crisis that companies with stressed balance sheets managed to hold their tier-one assets, and he expects this will remain the case with BHP's partner in the Gulf."