UPDATE 1-BHP in talks to sell petroleum business to Australia's Woodside

(Adds details on talks, background, Woodside statement)

Aug 16 (Reuters) – BHP Group Ltd is in talks to sell its petroleum business to Australia's top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd in exchange for shares, the companies confirmed on Monday.

The world's biggest miner BHP also said it had begun a strategic review of the business — made up of assets in Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Algeria — that analysts value at between $10 billion and $17 billion.

BHP has been facing calls to detail how and when it will exit fossil fuels, with activist investor Market Forces filing a resolution on the topic this week for annual meetings in October and November.

The miner was widely expected to deliver a verdict on the future of the petroleum business ahead of its results this week.

"While discussions between the parties are currently progressing, no agreement has been reached on any such transaction," BHP said, adding that it was evaluating a number of options.

In a separate statement, Woodside confirmed talks with BHP over the deal and said discussions were ongoing. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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