I refuse to become overly concerned about the precipitous drop in commodities prices that has hit the likes of copper, natural gas, crude oil, and others. Indeed, should the trend continue, I'll simply intensify my focus on Australia's BHP Billiton
Indeed, it's the petroleum presence that to my mind raises BHP above U.K.-headquartered Rio Tinto
In addition, BHP's mining operations produce base metals, including copper, silver, and zinc, along with primary aluminum, manganese, and metallurgical coal.
But since my interest in the company continues to be heightened by its oil and gas operations, I think it's noteworthy that BHP received the second U.S. deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico after the removal of the moratorium that followed the blowout, explosion, and oil spill aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.
The permit has allowed BHP to resume the drilling of a production well it had begun at its Shenzi oil field prior to the tragedy. A major change, however, has been the addition of equipment produced by Houston-based Helix Energy Solutions
Not all of BHP's oil and gas activity is occurring offshore. Earlier this year the company agreed to spend $4.75 billion to acquire Chesapeake Energy's
But the Fayetteville acreage likely isn't the last shot out of the acquisition gun for BHP. CEO Marius Kloppers likes to shop. Indeed, you probably recall the company's prior unsuccessful efforts to buy Rio Tinto and Canada's PotashCorp
In any event, there's always something occurring at BHP. As such -- and given its boatload of commodities -- I suggest that Fools join me in monitoring the company by adding its name to your own free version of My Watchlist.