spwm bpBP is going big into U.S. shale fields with its $10.5-billion purchase from BHP, an AngloAustralian mining company. This would be BP’s largest acquisition in 20 years.

Up until now, BP has had a limited presence in the American shale world. This purchase will bump up BP’s oil and gas production in the U.S. by a fifth. The shale fields are in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Haynesville in east Texas and Louisiana and cover 470,000 acres.

According to The Guardian, “Analysts said Eagle Ford was the most valuable of the three because of its scale and economics, while the Permian offered the greatest long-term promise.”

Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP’s upstream division, said, “It gives us access to some of the best acreage in the best basins. It takes us into the very heart of the most-talked-about oil play in the world,” referring to the Permian.

BP is emerging from the $65- billion payout it made for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.