BHP and ExxonMobil are making plans for a long-term drilling and exploration program in the Gippsland Basin offshore Australia where Esso Australia, ExxonMobil's Australian subsidiary and BHP Billiton will be equal partners.
The program will start by the end of 2003. The drilling program will include a mix of exploration, appraisal and development wells.
A 3D seismic survey covering 3,900 kilometers was recently completed. The results from this survey will be used to look for new exploration and drilling targets but even now they can say that hopes to find any big discoveries like Kingfish, Snapper or Barracouta are unwarranted, however, some mid-size discoveries are to be made.