BHP Billiton Lifts Production but Misses Guidance

BHP Billiton Ltd. has narrowly missed production guidance in its petroleum division for 2013, according to full-year results released by the company.

The diversified resources company reported that full-year production from its petroleum business unit for the 12 months to end-June was 235.7 million barrels of oil equivalent, lower than a previous forecast for the 2013 financial year of 240 million barrels.

BHP Billiton attributed the result to extended maintenance and drilling delays at its “non-operated assets” in the Gulf of Mexico.

However, despite missing the production guidance, the result was a 6-percent increase on the 2012 full- year outcome. According to the company, the increase was “underpinned by significant growth in onshore U.S. volumes.”

“The liquids rich Eagle Ford is now petroleum’s largest producing field as more than 100 new wells were brought online in the June 2013 quarter,” BHP Billiton said.

“Robust growth in Onshore U.S. liquids production is anticipated again in the September 2013 quarter as additional wells are put online and infrastructure projects are completed.”

The company reported that natural gas production was 6-percent higher for the 2013 financial year on the back of strong demand at Bass Strait in Australia, a full-year of production from the Haynesville dry gas field in the United States and gas volumes from the development of the acreage at Eagle Ford.

Meanwhile, BHP Billiton recorded onshore drilling and development expenditure in the United States of $4.8 billion in the 2013 financial year. This reflected a higher working interest across several fields and an increase in drilling speed, the company added.

Activities during the full-year included the $1.63 billion sale to PetroChina International Investment of an 8.33-percent interest in the East Browse joint venture and a 20-percent interest in the West Browse joint venture, both located offshore Western Australia.


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