BHP's WC76 Field Earns ISO 14001 Certification

BHP Billiton reports that its West Cameron 76 natural gas field in the Gulf of Mexico has been independently audited and registered for ISO 14001 certification. ISO 14001 certification measures all aspects of an operation's environmental management system. The process, established by the International Organization for Standards based in Switzerland, recognizes organizations whose environmental management systems meet the comprehensive requirements of a worldwide standard.

With this certification, BHP Billiton becomes one of only very few companies operating oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico to pass the rigorous requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. Certified companies must document and track progress on every element of their environmental plan -- from regulatory compliance and reporting issues to internal protocols and processes designed to lessen the environmental impact of the facility's operations.

"We are very pleased to have earned this prestigious award, and maintaining certification will provide ongoing benefits for both this asset and the company in the years ahead," explained Bill McHolick, vice president of operations and development for the petroleum group in the Americas. "BHP Billiton is committed to sustainable development, and health, safety, environment and community responsibilities are integral to the way we do business. As the company assumes a larger role as an operator in the Gulf of Mexico, having standards such as ISO 14001 in place at existing producing fields will help us achieve industry leading performance as newer assets are developed. The process requires continuous improvement, and that will drive us to find new and better ways to reduce waste, prevent pollution and operate more safely and efficiently."

The West Cam 76 field was discovered in 1991, with first production occurring a year later. It comprises 10 producing wells on two bridged platforms. Earlier this year, the company's production operators and contractors for the field achieved the milestone 10-year mark without a single lost-time incident. BHP Billiton has an effective 44.1 percent interest in West Cam 76. Partners in the field include Houston Exploration Company and Ridgewood Energy Company.