SYDNEY, April 17 BHP Billiton
is focusing the bulk of its $4 billion U.S. onshore exploration
spending to develop its Eagle Ford and Permian shale assets, its
biggest liquids-producing holdings, as it diversifies away from
The global miner, which stuck to its full-year prodution
guidance for its major businesses in it latest quarterly report,
said the onshore U.S. business, which it bought in 2011,
produced more than 5 million barrels of liquids during the March
The rise in output will help keep the petroleum division on
track to meet its fiscal 2013 production forecast of 240 million
barrels of oil equivalent, BHP said.
BHP said its onshore US drilling and development spending
totalled $3.2 billion for the nine months ended March 2013. Over
80 percent of the annual $4 billion budget will be focused on
the liquids rich Eagle Ford and Permian areas.
In iron ore, where BHP holds the No. 3 ranking behind Vale
and Rio Tinto , production rose 6
percent in the March quarter to 40.2 million tonnes despite the
effects of a cyclone.
The miner said production rates were nearing 200 million
tonnes a year, and maintained production guidance in fiscal 2013
183 at million tonnes.