Sydney — BHP said on Wednesday it would double the number of onshore US shale rigs, despite a major shareholder pushing for the commodities giant to divest its US oil and gas assets. The Anglo-Australian firm said in an annual operational review ending June 30 that it increased the rig count to five during the April-June quarter, with plans to boost that to 10 in the 2018 financial year. The ramp up came even as BHP said it would sell noncore shale assets in Hawkville, Texas, in the September quarter. New York-based Elliott Advisors, a significant shareholder in the company, is pushing for BHP to restructure the business, including spinning off its US oil and gas operations and dissolving its costly dual stock market listing. The world’s biggest miner rejected Elliott’s proposal in April, while Canberra has warned that removing BHP from the Australian Stock Exchange was not in the national interest. Apart from iron ore and energy coal, annual production for BHP’s other assets — petr...

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