BHP Billiton Exploration Well Concluded in Trinidad

BHP Billiton announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, BHP Petroleum (Trinidad) Ltd., has extended the hydrocarbon discoveries previously made in the Block 2(c) Production Sharing Contract area, offshore Trinidad, with its third exploration well. The Kairi-1 well has been abandoned after encountering an encouraging hydrocarbon column.

The well began drilling on July 4, 2001, in Trinidad's offshore block 2(c), nearly 22 miles from the northeastern tip of Trinidad's coastline, and approximately 3 miles from BHP Billiton's Aripo-1 gas discovery. Using the Global Marine's jackup, Glomar Labrador 1, the well was drilled to a depth exceeding 7,217 feet in waters approximately 115 feet deep.

The significance of the well will be assessed following further evaluation of drilling and resource data. Further appraisal drilling will be required to determine the size of the discovery. Additionally, further technical appraisal requirements and development options for the area also are being evaluated.

This well has been drilled in an area where BHP Billiton has made earlier hydrocarbon discoveries with the exploratory wells Angostura-1 and Aripo-1 that were drilled in 1999 and 2000, respectively. A further exploration well, Spitfire-1, drilled in the adjacent Block 2(ab) was plugged and abandoned dry during the second quarter of 2001. The Company is actively pursuing a strategy for commercialization of the resources in the area.

BHP Billiton is the designated operator and holds a 45 percent working interest in Block 2(c). Its partners are Elf Petroleum Trinidad B.V. with a 30 percent interest and Talisman (Trinidad) Ltd. with a 25 percent interest.