BHP Billiton Strikes Oil Offshore Australia

BHP Billiton has made an oil discovery with its exploration well Ravensworth-1 within WA-155-P(1) in the Exmouth Sub-Basin, offshore Western Australia.

The well has reached a measured depth of 1432 metres. From BHP Billiton's preliminary interpretation Ravensworth-1 encountered a gross oil column of 37 meters and a gross gas column of 7 meters with 43.5 meters of net pay in the Lower Barrow Group sandstone reservoir.

The Ravensworth-1 discovery is located 45 kilometers north-northwest of Exmouth, off the West Australian coast, in 209 meters water depth. The significance of the well will be assessed following further evaluation of drilling results and acquisition of core across the hydrocarbon column in a sidetrack well at the conclusion of wireline logging operations.

Australia Operated Asset Team Leader Mike Ollis said Ravensworth-1 is in an area where there have been a number of recent discoveries made by the industry.

"This result would translate into a small to medium oil accumulation. Ravensworth-1 is located approximately 10 kilometers southeast of Woodside's Vincent oil and gas discovery, and is in the potentially important and emerging oil province of the Exmouth Sub-basin of the Carnarvon Basin," Mr Ollis said.

"Ravensworth-1 continues the success of BHP Billiton Petroleum's exploration activities in the Exmouth Sub-basin. Earlier this year BHP Billiton Petroleum, as operator of neighbouring WA-255-P, discovered the Stybarrow oil field, located 55 kilometers northwest of Exmouth," Mr. Ollis said. Drilling on Ravensworth-1 commenced on July 15, 2003 using Transocean's semisub, Sedco 703.

BHP Billiton owns a 39.999% interest and is the operator of WA-155-P(1) with Apache (31.501%) and INPEX (28.500%).