BHP on Track to Deliver Growth in Oil Output

21 October 2009 (Last Updated October 21st, 2009 18:30)

BHP Billiton is on track to deliver a 10% compound annual growth in petroleum production for the 2010 financial year, the company has announced. High growth in petroleum output was achieved for the quarter ended 30 September 2009 due to strong operating performance and a continued rise

BHP Billiton is on track to deliver a 10% compound annual growth in petroleum production for the 2010 financial year, the company has announced.

High growth in petroleum output was achieved for the quarter ended 30 September 2009 due to strong operating performance and a continued rise in commissioned projects.

The Australian oil and gas producer achieved petroleum production of 41.21 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in the quarter, a 10% hike compared with the end of 30 June 2009 and an 18% increase compared with the quarter ending 30 September 2008.

Successful delivery of projects in Western Australia and in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, US in the past two years contributed to the increase in petroleum output, the company said.

Operational performance was stable due to the absence of weather related disruptions, however this was partially counterbalanced by natural field drop.

Production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids for the quarter ended 30 September 2009 was 24,670,000bbl, a 15% rise compared with the previous quarter and a 30% increase compared with the same quarter in 2008.

Factors for high production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids include increased production from the Atlantis well in the US, as well as Shenzi running above capacity and the absence of weather-related disruptions.

During the quarter, the operator began drilling water injection wells at Atlantis.

Natural gas production for the quarter ended 30 September 2009 was 99.24bcf, a 2% increase compared with the previous quarter and a 4% rise compared with the quarter ended 30 September 2008.

Increase in natural gas output was a result of higher gas demand in Pakistan and the contribution from Atlantis and Shenzi. Output from the Bass Strait (Australia) was more than the June 2009 quarter because of expected seasonal demand, the company said.