ENERGY and resources powerhouse BHP Billiton has put its North Wales operations up for sale.
The global company employs dozens of workers at the Point of Ayr gas terminal in Talacre and administrative headquarters in Northop Country Park.
A spokesman for BHP admitted it was seeking a buyer for the Liverpool Bay site, but said it would be “business as usual”.
He told the Liverpool Post: “I can confirm BHP Billiton is currently conducting a strategic review of its UK petroleum operations and exploring options that include a potential sale of the assets.
“However, this process is at a very early stage.”
Delyn MP David Hanson was disappointed at the news but relieved BHP Billiton will not be closing either base.
“I have been informed by BHP Billiton they are putting this business up for sale and that includes both Northop and Talacre,” he said.
“BHP says it is business as usual and the sale may not happen. I recognise this will cause uncertainty for employees and those living nearby so I would urge anyone with concerns to contact me.”
Mr Hanson added: “This site remains a valuable asset and I want to see it maintained until its natural gas supply has ended.
“The company has done a lot for the local community and I will be working with them to try and find a buyer.”
The Liverpool Bay development is BHP Petroleum’s largest single project worldwide with significant offshore and onshore facilities used for extracting, transporting and processing gas and oil reserves.
Extracted gas is piped through a 34km pipeline to BHP’s state-of-the-art gas terminal at Point of Ayr.
In 1996, the group and its partners produced the first oil from Britain's west coast.
Just one month earlier, the £1.1 billion development successfully produced its first gas, establishing BHP Petroleum as pioneers of oil and gas in the Irish Sea off North Wales.
BHP Billiton has more than 60,000 employees worldwide.