(Corrects paragraph one to show that production and drilling
operations were not shut, corrects paragraph 4 to delete
reference to Eagle Ford being shut)
* Fatality halts BHP's Eagle Ford shale operations
* Investigation under way, BHP says
* Too early to determine duration of investigation
SYDNEY, May 7 BHP Billiton has
halted work at some construction sites at its operations in the
Eagle Ford shale in the United States as it investigates the
death of a contractor at the site, it said on Tuesday. Oil
production and drilling were not affected.
A contractor was fatally injured on May 6 while working at
the site in the state of Texas, BHP said in a statement.
"Operations at the site were immediately stopped and a full
investigation is under way," BHP said, without providing further
A BHP Billiton spokeswoman in Melbourne, where BHP is
headquartered, said it was too early to determine the duration
of the investigation.
Eagle Ford is the company's single largest liquids-producing
field, BHP said on April 17.
A rise in liquids output from Eagle Ford has helped offset a
downturn in BHP's offshore units, keeping the petroleum division
on track to meet its fiscal 2013 production forecast of 240
million barrels of oil equivalent.
BHP is aiming to meet its target via strong growth in the
June quarter from the Eagle Ford shale business along with
higher output from Bass Strait wells in Australia, and in the
Gulf of Mexico.
At Eagle Ford, 38 additional wells came into production in
the March quarter.
But analysts are expecting an additional 100 wells will
start to flow this quarter.
(Reporting by James Regan; additional reporting by Kristen Hays
in Houston; Editing by Ed Davies)