BHP Billiton to beef up exploration spend

Australian BHP Billiton has made plans to increase its spending on exploration for the next year. 

BHP Billiton’s Petroleum exploration program is focused on three conventional deepwater basins in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean (in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados), and the Northern Beagle sub-basin off the coast of Western Australia.

Speaking at Citigroup’s Mining Exploration Day in Sydney, Australia, BHP Billiton Head of Geoscience, Laura Tyler, said the company is focusing its exploration approach through targeted analysis and the establishment of a Geoscience Centre of Excellence.

Tyler said: “Next financial year, we intend to invest approximately $900 million dollars in exploration, which represents 18 per cent of our overall capital budget.

“We are also challenging existing paradigms with a scientific based and disciplined approach to exploration. We have reduced exploration operating costs by 70 per cent since 2013, and this year we have increased the targets tested by 44 per cent.”

“Over the last four years we have developed a new approach to Petroleum exploration that is much more focused,” Tyler said.

Tyler also added: “We have commenced drilling in Trinidad and Tobago and have secured an additional rig which will soon commence drilling in a prospective block north of our Shenzi operations in the Gulf of Mexico.”

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