Announcing an operational review for Y/E 30 June 2019, BHP gave the following update on its petroleum activities.
Total petroleum production increased by one percent to 121 MMboe. Volumes are expected to decrease to between 110 and 116 MMboe in the 2020 financial yearas a result of planned maintenance at Atlantis and natural field decline across the portfolio.
Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production decreased by four per cent to 55 MMboe due to natural field decline across the portfolio and a 70-day planned dry dock maintenance program at Pyrenees completed during the September 2018 quarter. This decline was partly offset by higher uptime and stronger field performance at Atlantis and Mad Dog.
Natural gas production increased by five per cent to 397bcf, reflecting increased tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of the Production Sharing Contract and higher uptime at North West Shelf. This was partially offset by planned maintenance at Trinidad and Tobago in the December 2018 quarter, the impact of Tropical Cyclone Veronica in Western Australia and natural field decline across the portfolio.
The Bass Strait West Barracouta project is tracking to plan and study work continues on the Ruby project in Trinidad and Tobago with an investment decision expected during the September 2019 quarter.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Phase 3 of the deepwater drilling campaign was completed. This campaign included three wells – Bélé-1, Tuk-1 and Hi-Hat-1 – which have all been successfully drilled and encountered gas. These three discoveries in our Northern licences have established additional volumes around the Bongos discoveryand evaluations are ongoing. Technical work is underway to assess further exploration targets and commercial options for the Northern Gas play.
In Australia, as part of the North West Shelf Joint Venture, BHP participated in the Achernar-1 exploration to fulfil a well commitment on the WA-28-P exploration permit. The well was a dry hole and was plugged and abandoned.
In Mexico, the Company spudded the Trion-3DEL appraisal well on 9 July 2019 to further delineate the scale and characterisation of the resource.
Petroleum exploration expenditure for the 2019 financial year was US$685 million, of which US$388 million was expensed.