BHP to focus on Kimberly oil and gas in Australia

Following a huge discovery in the Carnarvon Basin, mining giant BHP Billiton said oil and gas deposits in Western Australia's Kimberley would now be a key focus for it.

The company which made the gas discovery at Tallaganda,  50km south east of Canberra, earlier this year said further drilling results showed the area had huge potential.

A company spokesperson described it as a world class deposit with significant potential which opened up a large area close to existing fields.

The miner has also acquired additional prospective tenements over the past financial year.

BHP added, its oil and gas exploration programmes would now be focused on its tenements in WA's Carnarvon Basin along with its Gulf of Mexico deposits in the US.

The Australian reports that the miner would now place equal importance on WA and the US' Gulf of Mexico as the two main regions where it would search for offshore oil and gas.

"The Tallaganda (gas) discovery in Australia's Carnarvon Basin marks our biggest discovery in 2012 and opens up a large area of captured acreage with many potential follow-up opportunities," BHP said in its 2011 - 12 annual petroleum review.

Though the discovery was announced in April, according to the newspaper, there had been no indication from BHP as to whether it believed the find would result in an increase in drilling or if it could be commercially developed.