BHP Billiton to spend $900m on exploration in 2017

BHP Billiton to spend $900m on exploration in 2017

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) has announced plans to spend US$900 million in the next financial year on exploration for oil and copper.

The world’s largest mining company said the oil exploration programme would focus on deep-water basins in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and off the coast of Western Australia.

Its copper exploration would target Chile, Peru, the United States, Canada and Australia.

Laura Tyler, BHP’s head of geoscience said the company was taking a value-focused approach to exploration, despite employment opportunities for geoscientists in Australia continuing to decline in 2016.

“We are also challenging existing paradigms with a scientific based and disciplined approach to exploration,” said Tyler. “We have reduced exploration operating costs by 70 percent since 2013, and this year we have increased the targets tested by 44 percent.”

BHP’s market capitalisation value was $80.3 billion in May of this year.

Tyler explained the company’s approach to petroleum over the past four years had been much more focused.

“We have commenced drilling in Trinidad and Tobago and have secured an additional rig which will soon commence drilling in a prospective block north of our Shenzi operations in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Tyler.