BHP Billiton Ready to Begin Offshore Seismic Program

Anglo-Australian resources group BHP Billiton's oil division has new acreage in Colombia and is ready to begin a 3D seismic program in the country, BHP Billiton Petroleum CEO J Michael Yeager said at the Lehman Brothers energy conference in New York.

"The seismic vessel is offshore right now," Yeager said. "We have others trying to come to us who want to partner with us on this."

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) acquired E&P rights in the Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur offshore blocks in Colombia in April 2006.

The blocks measure nearly 500,000ha each. BHP Billiton holds a 75% interest in each block and is the designated operator.

Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol holds the remaining 25% in the blocks.

BHP is in the process of prequalification for the upcoming Ronda Caribe round for 13 E&P blocks in northern Colombia being run by state hydrocarbons regulator ANH.

BHP's oil division has average daily production of 318,000b/d.

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