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Liam Denning

BHP Checks In to Saudi Arabia's Hotel

But it's only a tactical retreat.

Amid the back-and-forth about just what Saudi Arabia is doing in the oil market comes a message from BHP Billiton: Whatever it is, it's working.

As my colleague David Fickling wrote earlier on Tuesday, the Anglo-Australian miner-cum-major is struggling to dig out from the commodities crash. One glaring blemish is its U.S. onshore oil and gas business, where it has spent almost $20 billion to buy its way into the fracking game -- and written off more than half of that amount.