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BHP President Operations Petroleum, Geraldine Slattery, said petroleum is set to deliver strong returns and contribute significant value for BHP through the 2020s and beyond, built on a foundation of quality assets, and attractive growth options.

Speaking to investors and analysts at a briefing in Sydney, last week, Slattery said petroleum is a great business with competitive growth potential and is aligned with BHP’s strategy of being in the best commodities, with the best assets, enabled by the best culture and capabilities. Petroleum has delivered strong financial performance over many years and this is set to continue.

“In a decarbonising world, deepwater oil and advantaged gas close to established infrastructure can offer competitive returns for decades to come.”

Slattery outlined a scenario that could potentially generate robust EBITDA margins of more than 60 percent and an average return on capital employed of more than 15 percent over the next decade; deliver average internal rates of return of around 25 percent for major projects, which are resilient through cycles; and support an average annual volume growth of up to 3 percent between the 2020 and 2030 financial years.

“Our portfolio of quality assets and pipeline of competitive growth options are expected to generate strong free cash flow and returns through the 2020s and beyond,” Slattery added.

Petroleum’s growth options currently include Scarborough, Wildling Phase I, Trion and Trinidad and Tobago North. While these remain subject to BHP’s strict capital allocation framework, they are well placed to compete with other options in the Group’s portfolio.

“Our capabilities in safety, exploration and deepwater operations, coupled with a high-performance culture give us confidence that we can deliver on our plans into the future,” Slattery said.

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