BHP Billiton Resumes Production at GOM Deepwater Fields

BHP Billiton Petroleum announced that oil production has been safely restored at its Neptune and Shenzi/Genghis Khan fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ike caused the Company to shut-in production on both fields. Production is ramping up as the export pipelines are able to take the increasing volumes.

Natural gas from Neptune and Shenzi/Genghis Khan will be brought online as pipelines and infrastructure along the Gulf Coast permit.

BHP Billiton Petroleum also assessed the newly installed Shenzi Tension Leg Platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and found no damage that would hamper our ability to resume the construction process. Shenzi is scheduled to achieve first oil by the middle of calendar year 2009 with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day and 50 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The two deepwater drilling rigs under contract to BHP Billiton Petroleum, the GSF C.R. Luigs drillship and the Development Driller I semisubmersible, are back on location and have re-started their operations.

BHP Billiton Petroleum is the Operator of Neptune with a 35% interest. Partners include Marathon Oil Corporation (30%), Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. (20%), and Maxus (U.S.) Exploration Company (15%).

BHP Billiton Petroleum is the Operator of Shenzi with a 44% interest. Partners include Hess Corporation and Repsol YPF, each holding a (28%) stake.

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