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BHP Billiton opts against further exploration of two deepwater blocks in Trinidad

Austin, Texas — Australia's BHP Billiton said Thursday it will not proceed with the secondphase of exploration activity in two of its deepwater blocks in Trinidad andTobago.

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The first phase of exploration for two blocks -- Trinidad and Tobago DeepAtlantic Area 7, off the twin-island nation's southeast coast, and 23 (b), offthe northeast coast -- expired in the fourth quarter of last year.

"BHP and its co-venturers had completed all of the minimum explorationwork obligations for these two PSCs and elected not to enter into the secondphase of the exploration periods," the company said in a statement.

The company did not elaborate on why it opted out of the second phase.

BHP Billiton is one of the biggest holders of offshore acreage inTrinidad and has been conducting a major deepwater oil and gas drillingcampaign in several of its blocks since 2016.

BHP earlier drilled its first two wells, one in Block TTDAA 5 and anotherin Block 23 (a), and it made the country's first deepwater gas discovery atthe LeClerc well in TTDAA 5.

This year, BHP and its partners plan to drill two wells in TTDAA 5 andone well in TTDAA 14, subject to Trinidad and Tobago government approval.

--Laura Brooks, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Annie Siebert, ann.siebert@spglobal.com