BHP plans increased spend on offshore exploration

Offshore staff

PERTH, AustraliaBHP Billiton has issued an update on its recent offshore E&P activities.

The company has acquired 91 blocks with no well obligations in the US Gulf of Mexico, and also executed a lease exchange agreement with Chevron for 61 blocks and a sale and purchase agreement with ConocoPhillips for 26 blocks.

In addition, the company has regulatory approval for four blocks awarded in March under Lease Sale 241.

Offshore Western Australia, the company secured the Bunyip and Tallaganda retention leases WA-71-R and WA-72-R while its Tallaganda exploration lease WA-351-P expired.

BHP’s budgeted petroleum exploration expenditure for the 2016 financial year is $590 million.

It has focused mainly on its core areas in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Northern Beagle subbasin offshore Western Australia, where it has acquired additional acreage and seismic data and increased drilling activity.

BHP has also stepped up exploration in the Gulf of Mexico following positive exploration well results at Shenzi North and has started drilling off Trinidad and Tobago.

The company says it is pursuing high-quality oil plays in its three priority basins and plans a $700 million exploration program for the 2017 financial year to accelerate testing of growth opportunities.


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