Date    25 January 2001
Number  06/01


BHP Limited (BHP) today announced that it had completed drilling of its
Chinook prospect, an ultra-deepwater exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico's
Walker Ridge Block 425.

The well represents the first test of BHP's Walker Ridge acreage and was
located approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the western
Atwater Foldbelt, where BHP has participated in three major discoveries at
Mad Dog, Atlantis and Neptune.

The Chinook exploratory well was drilled to a total depth of 7,653 metres
(25,109 feet), successfully reaching its target objectives. Hydrocarbons
were found; however, not in commercial quantities, and the well has been
plugged and abandoned.

President BHP Petroleum Philip Aiken said Walker Ridge is a frontier
exploration province in the very early stages of evaluation.

"The results from our first wildcat well in the Walker Ridge acreage are
disappointing in relation to the original well objectives," he said.  "However,
encountering high quality reservoir sands and hydrocarbons will necessitate
that we continue to evaluate the extensive data collected from this well to
determine any exploration activities in the area, including other mapped

"In the meantime, BHP's exploration and appraisal efforts continue across
the Company's Gulf of Mexico portfolio with an emphasis on Atwater Foldbelt

The Chinook well set a record for drilling in the deepest water ever explored
in the Gulf of Mexico.  Using the BHP-operated C.R. Luigs drillship, it was
drilled in 2,693 metres (8,835 feet) of water. This depth is the second
deepest ever drilled in the world, exceeded only by a well off Brazil.

As part of a joint venture agreement reached last year, BHP holds a 70 per
cent interest in WR 425.  TotalFinaElf E&P, Inc., holds the remaining 30 per
cent interest.

BHP has interests in a total of 229 blocks 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:

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North America
Patrick Cassidy, Director of Public     Francis McAllister
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BHP Petroleum (Americas) Inc.           Houston (North America)
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