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BHP Billiton Petroleum announced today that oil production has been safely restored at its Neptune and Shenzi/Genghis Khan fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ike caused the company to shut in production on both fields. Production is ramping up as the export pipelines are able to take the increasing volumes.

Natural gas from Neptune and Shenzi/Genghis Khan will be brought online as pipelines and infrastructure along the Gulf Coast permit.

BHP Billiton Petroleum also assessed the newly installed Shenzi Tension Leg Platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and found no damage that would hamper our ability to resume the construction process. Shenzi is scheduled to achieve first oil by the middle of calendar year 2009 with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day and 50 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The two deepwater drilling rigs under contract to BHP Billiton Petroleum, the Transocean C.R. Luigs drillship and the Development Driller I semisubmersible, are back on location and have re-started their operations.

BHP Billiton Petroleum is the operator of Neptune with a 35 per cent interest. Partners include Marathon Oil Corporation (30 per cent), Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. (20 per cent), and Maxus (U.S.) Exploration Company (15 per cent).

BHP Billiton Petroleum is the operator of Shenzi with a 44 per cent interest. Partners include Hess Corporation and Repsol YPF, each holding a (28 per cent) stake.

This document contains certain forward-looking statements relating to the business, financial performance and results of the Company and/or the industry in which it operates. Forward-looking statements concern future circumstances and results and other statements that are not historical facts, sometimes identified by the words "believes", "expects", "predicts", "intends", "projects", "plans", "estimates", "aims", "foresees", "anticipates", "targets", and similar expressions. The forward-looking statements, contained in this document, including assumptions, opinions and views of the Company or cited from third party sources are solely opinions and forecasts which are uncertain and subject to risks. A multitude of factors can cause actual events to differ significantly from any anticipated development. Neither the Company nor any of its subsidiaries nor any of its officers or employees guarantees that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does any of the foregoing accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this document or the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments.

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