Second Phase on Keith Field to Begin in 2002

BHP and its partners in the Keith field have agreed to proceed with a second phase of development by drilling a further single sub-sea production well at a cost of US $43 million. Keith is located 320km northeast of Aberdeen, northeast of Scotland and lies close to the BP-operated Bruce field. The original Keith well came on-stream in November 2000, with its present daily oil production of about 6,900 barrels of oil and about 8 million cubic feet of natural gas. The second phase development is expected to increase its gross proven and probable reserves from 10 million barrels to over 21 million and daily output from present 6,900 to about 15,000 barrels. Drilling of the new producing well is planned for the summer of 2002 with first production in November 2002. The partners in the Keith field are: BHP Billiton with 31.83%, BP with 34.83%, TotalFinaElf with 25% and Marubeni Corp. with the remaining 8.33%

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