BIL - BHP Billiton Plc - Exploration and development report For the quarter
ended 31 March 2012
BHP BILLITON PLC
SHARE CODE: BIL
18 April 2012
BHP BILLITON EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT
FOR THE QUARTER ENDED 31 MARCH 2012
This report covers the Group`s exploration and development activities for the
March 2012 quarter. Unless otherwise stated, BHP Billiton`s interest in the
projects referred to in this report is 100 per cent and references to project
schedules are based on calendar years.
BHP Billiton`s commitment to developing its portfolio of high return growth
projects, diversified by commodity, geography and market was further
reinforced by the approval of additional investment in its world class Base
Metals, Iron Ore and Petroleum businesses.
During the March 2012 quarter, BHP Billiton announced approval of the US$2.2
billion (BHP Billiton share) Escondida Organic Growth Project 1 (OGP1) which
involves the replacement of an existing concentrator and allows access to
valuable, higher grade ore. BHP Billiton also approved the US$414 million (BHP
Billiton share) Escondida Oxide Leach Area Project (OLAP).
In addition, pre-commitment expenditure of US$779 million (BHP Billiton share)
for the proposed Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) Outer Harbour development
was approved. This funding will enable feasibility studies to progress, the
procurement of long lead time items and for dredging to begin, subject to the
necessary regulatory approvals.
On 11 April 2012, BHP Billiton also approved pre-commitment funding of US$708
million (BHP Billiton share) for the Mad Dog Phase 2 project in the deepwater
Gulf of Mexico which will facilitate detailed engineering and the procurement
of long lead time items related to the hull, topsides and subsea equipment.
The Worsley Efficiency & Growth project will no longer be reported in future
Exploration and Development Reports as it achieved first production in the
March 2012 quarter and is 98 per cent complete.
BHP Billiton`s Onshore US drilling and development expenditure totalled US$2.2
billion for the nine months ended March 2012.
Project and Share of Initial Production Quarterly progress
ownership approved productio capacity (100%)
capex n target
Macedon 1,050 CY13 200 million On schedule and budget.
(Australia) cubic feet gas The overall project is
71.43% Gas per day. 57% complete.
Bass Strait 900 CY12(a) 10,000 bpd On revised schedule and
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