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BHP Billiton Announces Hydrocarbon Discovery At Ruby-1 Offshore Trinidad

BHP Billiton today announced the results of the Ruby-1 exploration well that was recently drilled offshore Trinidad. The well and subsequent testing confirm an oil and gas resource with commercial potential in shallow waters off the east coast of Trinidad.

Drilling of the Ruby-1 well began the first week of September 2006 in Block 3(a) using the jack-up rig Nabors 657. The well is located nearly 30 miles off the northeast coast of Trinidad in water depths of 200 feet, approximately 5 miles east of the central processing platform for the Greater Angostura Field, a BHP Billiton-operated development in Block 2(c), which is adjacent to Block 3(a).

"We are very pleased to have found hydrocarbons, and now we will study the results to see what type of oil accumulation we have,” explained Steve Bell, President of Exploration for BHP Billiton Petroleum. Further analysis in coordination with our co-venturers will determine our next steps for this discovery."

Ruby-1 reached a total depth of 5,750 feet (true vertical depth) and encountered approximately 1,200 feet TVD (gross) of hydrocarbon-bearing sands with more than 800 TVD feet of net pay. The well tested at a rate of nearly 5,000 barrels of oil per day through a 7/8th-inch choke. Kingbird-1, an exploration well drilled just prior to the nearby Ruby-1 well, encountered 80 feet of gross hydrocarbon pay and was abandoned without testing pending further technical studies.

Block 3(a) is operated by BHP Billiton, which has a 25.5% interest in the field.Co-venturers include Talisman (Trinidad Block 3a) Ltd., and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC), each with a 25.5% interest; Petrotrin, which has a 15% interest; and Total, with an 8.5% interest.