BHP Discovers Gas at Thebe-1 Offshore Australia

BHP Billiton has made a discovery at the Thebe-1 exploration well that was recently drilled offshore Western Australia. The well and subsequent evaluation confirmed a gas column of approximately 240 feet (73 meters) encountered in the Exmouth Plateau of the Carnarvon Basin.

Drilling of the Thebe-1 well began during the first week of July 2007 in block WA-346-P using the semisub, Atwood Eagle. The well is located approximately 186 miles (300 kilometers) off the North West coast of Western Australia in water depths of 3,848 feet (1173 meters). The well has now been abandoned after reservoir core was collected. BHP Billiton is the operator at Thebe-1 and holds a 100 percent interest in the field.

"The Thebe discovery is an excellent addition to our global portfolio. The results are encouraging and we will now proceed with further data gathering and evaluation," said Steve O'Rourke, President of Global Exploration for BHP Billiton Petroleum.

Thebe-1 is the second significant BHP Billiton gas discovery in the basin and is located approximately 31 miles (50 kilometers) north of the Scarborough gas field in which BHP Billiton is a 50 percent partner with ExxonMobil.

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