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Number 21/07

BHP Billiton today announced approval of the Pyrenees project located in licence block number WA-12-R in the Exmouth Sub-basin, off the North West Australian coast. First production is expected during the first half of calendar year 2010.

Project costs for the Pyrenees development are approximately US$1.7 billion, of which BHP Billiton’s share is 71.43 per cent (approximately US$1.2 billion). The expenditure includes the purchase of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) and the development of 13 subsea wells tied back to this facility. The field is estimated to have an economic life of 25 years and BHP Billiton is the operator.

The other co-venturer in the project is Apache Corporation with a 28.57 percent interest.

The Pyrenees fields of Crosby, Ravensworth and Stickle were discovered in WA-12-R in July 2003 and have estimated recoverable oil reserves in the range of 80-120 million barrels of oil. Water depth across the development area is between 170 to 250 metres.

BHP Billiton Group President Energy, J. Michael Yeager said the Pyrenees development is a welcome expansion to BHP Billiton’s oil producing assets in Western Australia.

"The Pyrenees development presents another solid opportunity for the Company to commercialise reserves in the Exmouth Sub-basin, an important oil region in Australian waters," Mr Yeager said.

"Pyrenees is the second FPSO development we are undertaking in the region and builds on our knowledge and execution capability in Western Australia. In November 2005 we approved the development of the Stybarrow oil field located in the Exmouth Sub-basin, approximately 20 kilometres west of the Pyrenees development. Stybarrow start up is on schedule for the first quarter of calendar year 2008."

The FPSO vessel will be disconnectable, double hulled and able to process approximately 96,000 barrels of oil a day. Oil export will be via shuttle tankers.

The Pyrenees WA-12-R project has been subjected to a comprehensive environmental impact assessment process that has involved extensive consultation with the local community and other key stakeholders.

Pyrenees Briefing Paper

For further information please contact:

Australia
Samantha Evans, Media Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 2898  Mobile: +61 400 693 915
email: Samantha.Evans@bhpbilliton.com

Jane Belcher, Investor Relations
Tel: +61 3 9609 3952  Mobile: +61 417 031 653
email: Jane.H.Belcher@bhpbilliton.com

United Kingdom
Mark Lidiard, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4156  Mobile: +44 7769 934 942
email: Mark.Lidiard@bhpbilliton.com

Illtud Harri, Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7802 4195  Mobile: +44 7920 237 246
email: Illtud.Harri@bhpbilliton.com

United States
Tracey Whitehead, Investor & Media Relations
Tel: US +1 713 599 6100 or UK +44 20 7802 4031
Mobile: +44 7917 648 093
email: Tracey.Whitehead@bhpbilliton.com

South Africa 
Alison Gilbert, Investor Relations
Tel: SA +27 11 376 2121 or UK +44 20 7802 4183
Mobile: +44 7769 936 227
email: Alison.Gilbert@bhpbilliton.com

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