NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get BHP Group Ltd Sponsored ADR Report plans to sell its Fayetteville shale gas assets in the U.S., the mining and energy group said today, in the latest effort to trim its portfolio in the region and focus on more profitable petroleum liquids, according to Reuters.

The company's petroleum division, the world's largest miner, is one of the largest foreign investors in the U.S. onshore oil and gas sector. The unit has grown in importance within BHP in the least few years, thanks to a market outlook that has been brighter for energy than for other commodities, Reuters reports.

Within the petroleum business, however, BHP has made it clear it intends to focus on liquid products in the U.S., a more lucrative business than dry gas, Reuters noted.

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CEO Andrew Mackenzie told investors that the company had begun "marketing" the Fayetteville acreage, which it bought in 2011 but wrote down by $2.8 billion a year later after gas prices fell.

Shares of BHP Billiton are down 0.83% to $58.65.

BHP data by YCharts

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