BHP's Petroleum Production Hits Record 62.7 MMboe in Sept. Quarter

BHP Billiton Ltd. posted a record 62.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in total petroleum production for the September 2013 quarter, up 2 percent from a year ago, but the firm kept its guidance for the 2014 financial year (FY), commencing July 1, unchanged at 250 MMboe, according to its quarterly operational review released Tuesday.

The higher petroleum production was attributed to a 16 percent rise in liquids output - comprising crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids - during this period to 26.053 MMboe, which offset a 6 percent fall in natural gas production to 219.66 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

The high liquids production was "underpinned by significant growth in Onshore U.S. volumes, primarily in the Black Hawk, and the start-up of a new production well at Atlantis (US) ... a significant increase in the number of producing wells in the liquids rich Eagle Ford contributed to a 29 percent increase in Onshore US liquids production from the June 2013 quarter," BHP said in a press release.

However, the company said scheduled maintenance and new well tie-ins at Pyrenees oil field in Australia are expected to impact conventional liquids production during the December 2013 quarter with the floating production storage and off-take (FPSO) facility offline for approximately one month. These additional production wells will mitigate natural field decline in the second half of the 2014 financial year.

On natural gas, the commencement of production at the Macedon project in Australia in August 2013 "only partially offset softer seasonal demand at Bass Strait and lower production at Haynesville (U.S.), following our deliberate decision to prioritize Onshore US development drilling in the liquids rich Black Hawk region of the Eagle Ford," BHP added.

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