BHP Billiton is optimistic about its chances of discovering hydrocarbons within the Carlisle Bay and Bimshire blocks.

That is the word from Vice President, Exploration for BHP Billiton, Dr. Niall McCormack, who said officials at the company were hopeful that these initial exploration opportunities would deliver value to the shareholders, as well as to Barbados and its people.

Dr. McCormack explained that the exploration process would proceed in phases, with each building on the other and dependent on the previous phase.

He said: We will begin to augment our understanding of this complex geology through a new 2D seismic survey programme of over 3,200 line kilometres. This survey will be conducted during the initial 3-year phase of the licence.

If the results of this initial survey are promising, BHP Billiton may then elect to proceed into the next exploration phase to acquire and process approximately 1,500 square kilometres of 3D seismic covering both blocks. Given further encouragement, the next step will be the drilling of at least one exploration well in each block.???

He pointed out that this incremental process was highly effective, and one that the industry had used successfully in oil and gas exploration and development around the world.

Dr. McCormack stressed that the benefits to communities where BHP Billiton worked went beyond revenue. ???We are proud as a company that where BHP Billiton is successfully producing oil and gas, we work to ensure these benefits are shared between our shareholders, our partner nations and their people,? he disclosed.

He pointed out that BHP Billiton was considered one of the safest oil and gas companies in the industry, with a focus on environmental responsibility and the communities in which they work.

He added: ?”The breadth of our resources portfolio, our historical operational performance and our long-term approach to resource development distinguish us from most other companies in this industry. And, we feel this strategic partnership with BHP Billiton provides the Government of Barbados with a distinct advantage.?”

The BHP Billiton energy portfolio includes oil, gas, coal and uranium, while the metal portfolio includes those used in energy infrastructure and renewables.

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