Date    12 January 2001
Number  02/01


BHP Limited (BHP) today announced further results from the appraisal drilling
programme of Mad Dog, one of its three oil field discoveries in the Atwater
Foldbelt. The Atwater Foldbelt is one of the Company's key exploration plays
in the deep- and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The Mad Dog NO. 3 appraisal well is located in Green Canyon Block 783 in 4,320
feet of water.  It is located approximately 1.7 miles northeast of Mad Dog
NO. 2 and approximately 3.7 miles northeast of the original discovery well.
The purpose of the Mad Dog NO. 3 well was to determine the extent of the
field to the northeast.

The well reached a total depth of 21,810 feet, encountering 200 net feet of
hydrocarbon bearing sands.  In addition, the well delineated the extent of
the previously recognized Miocene reservoirs and provided a better
understanding of the structural complexity of the field.

A sidetrack was drilled updip some 4,000 feet to the southwest of the
original borehole into GC Block 782.  Drilled to a total depth of 22,426
feet, it confirmed the lateral extent and thickness of the
hydrocarbon-bearing Miocene reservoirs penetrated in the original wellbore.

President BHP Petroleum, Philip Aiken, said:  "The well results provide
further valuable information necessary to progress towards the commercial
development of the Mad Dog field.  Given the added structural complexity of
the field, the need for an additional appraisal well is being determined.
The interpretation of well data, and the possible additional well, will
enable the resource size to be estimated with greater confidence and to
optimise the nature of the development for the field."

The Mad Dog accumulation is located inside a unit that was expanded to
eight blocks in April 2000.
It comprises GC 825, GC 826, GC 738, GC 739, GC 781, GC 782 (the northern
half of the block was added to the original prospect area that included the
southern half), and GC 783.  The Mad Dog discovery well was completed in
December 1998 in GC 826 and encountered 300 net feet of hydrocarbons.
Mad Dog NO. 2 encountered 265 net feet of oil pay.

Mad Dog is located approximately 15 miles southwest of the Company's Atlantis
discovery (GC 699), where a second appraisal well is expected to spud later
this year.

BHP has a 23.9 percent working interest in Mad Dog with partners BP (the
operator with a 60.5 percent interest) and Unocal, which has a 15.6 percent

BHP has interests in a total of 128 blocks in the Atwater Foldbelt trend,
and a total of 226 leasehold positions in the deepwater or ultra-deepwater
Gulf of Mexico, making it an important component of BHP's focussed exploration

Further information can be found on our Internet site:


Mandy Frostick                    Dr Robert Porter
Manager Media Relations           Vice President of Investor Relations
BHP Ltd.                          BHP Ltd.
Ph:   61 3 9609 4157              Ph:    61 3 9652 6433
Mob:  61 419 546 245              Mob:   61 419 587 456

North America 			  Francis McAllister
Patrick Cassidy			  Vice President Investor Relations
Director of Public Affairs	  Houston (North America)
BHP Petroleum (Americas) Inc.	  Tel: 1 713  961 8625
Ph:  713 961 8517