BHP will be become the operator of, and the 60% owner in, the massive Trion oil field in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexico’s state oil company PEMEX Exploration and Production Mexico will keep a 40% interest in the blocks, about 80 km from the US border, which contain an estimated 485 MMboe of oil.
BHP’s winning bid for Trion includes an upfront cash payment of $US62.4 million ($A83.5 million) and a commitment to a minimum work program up to a maximum of $US320 million ($A428 million).
If the project goes beyond the initial program, BHP will invest the rest of a $US570 million ($A762 million) minimum work contribution and pay PEMEX another $US561.6 million ($A751 million) in cash.
“This opportunity aligns with our strategy of owning and operating Tier-1 assets and provides an opportunity for BHP Billiton to leverage its industry leading deep-water drilling, development and operational expertise to create value in Mexico,” says Steve Pastor, BHP’s president operations petroleum.