BHP Starts Production at the Greater Angostura Field

BHP Billiton reports that production from the Angostura field in Trinidad and Tobago began on January 9, 2005. This was preceded by first gas production on December 16, 2004. The new facility has been commissioned on a rapid schedule, just 40 months after the discovery of crude oil at the Kairi-1 exploration well in 2001.

Start-up from Angostura represents the first oil production from the northeast coast of Trinidad. Initial oil production is expected to be around 60,000 barrels of oil per day (gross). The bulk of the produced gas is being re-injected into the Angostura reservoirs to support oil production from the field and a portion is being used to fuel operations on the processing platform. In the second phase of the project, Angostura's significant gas resources will be commercialized.

BHP Billiton holds 45 percent equity interest and is the operator of the Angostura development. The other partners in the Block 2(c) development are Total, which holds 30 percent interest, and Talisman Energy, a 25 percent interest holder.

Philip Aiken, President of the BHP Billiton Energy Group, said, "Five years ago this area was a frontier for oil exploration and our presence in Trinidad and Tobago comprised only a handful of employees. Today, we employ a staff of more than 160 in Port of Spain, offshore at the production platform and at the onshore storage facility. In addition, our joint venture is providing hundreds of jobs in the country at other companies that are supporting these operations.

"This development has opened a new area for petroleum exploration in Trinidad and Tobago and we are confident that further exploration can produce future success for the country and the company. First oil marks a single day but the Angostura project will be delivering benefits to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for years to come. My congratulations go out to the staff of BHP Billiton and our partners, as well as contractors and members of the government and administration of Trinidad and Tobago who have worked to achieve this successful milestone of first oil production from Angostura," Mr. Aiken said.