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Production Begins from Boris, BHP Billiton's First Operated Deepwater Asset in the Gulf of Mexico

BHP Billiton today announced the first oil and gas production from the Boris field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The achievement marks a world-class pace in the development of offshore fields in challenging deepwater environments, with the time from discovery to production a rapid 15 months.

The field started production on February 3, 2003, from the Boris-1 well. The well is currently producing 7,500 barrels of oil per day, and expected to deliver daily flow rates exceeding 10,000 barrels of oil and 15 MMcf of natural gas. With the onset of a second development well later this year, gross daily production is expected to reach 18,000 barrels of oil and 27 MMcf of natural gas, although actual production rates will depend on well performance. The estimated commercial life of the field is between six and eight years. Production from the Boris field is eligible for royalty relief by the Minerals Management Service, which it qualifies for under certain market conditions.

BHP Billiton holds a 50 percent equity interest and is the operator of the Boris field, which is located in Green Canyon Block 282. Other partners in Boris include ChevronTexaco and Noble Energy, Inc., each with a 25 percent interest.

Boris is located in water depths of 2,400 feet, approximately five miles southeast of the ChevronTexaco-operated Typhoon field (GC 236 and 237), where BHP Billiton also holds a 50-percent interest. The Boris field was developed with a three-slot subsea manifold tied back via a single production flowline to the production facility on Typhoon. Two of the three slots on the subsea manifold are designated for the Boris-1 and Boris-2 wells. A third slot is available for other potential targets in the area.

“Development and production from the Boris field is an important milestone for BHP Billiton Petroleum,” noted Mike Weill, President of Americas/Australia Operations and Technology.

“This is our first operated field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and, importantly, it was brought onstream safely, quickly, and efficiently. With recent discoveries at other operated prospects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the company is poised to build on this success with other projects that can provide additional value to our shareholders.”

BHP Billiton is among the largest acreage holders in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico with approximately 270 leases concentrated primarily in the central Gulf region.