The world largest mining company, BHP Billiton, announced its first oil production from the Genghis Khan development, located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

The company, with co-ventures Hess and Repsol YPF, had acquired Genghis Khan Field in February 2007 for US$1.33 billion. BHP Billiton paid $583 million for its interest.

BHP Billiton holds a 44 per cent interest in the operator of both Genghis Khan and Shenzi, a project by the same co-ventures in the region.

The development and production of Genghis Khan provides early learnings and synergy with our Shenzi project and expands our ownership of operated infrastructure in this region, noted J. Michael Yeager, Chief Executive for BHP Billiton Petroleum.

Genghis Khan is one of three fields BHP Billiton has in development in the deepwater of Gulf of Mexico and scheduled for first production during 2007. The Atlantis and Neptune fields are expected to commence by end of December 2007.

The company produced 12,000 barrels of oil each day until 20 June 2007. The combined projects boost BHP Billiton’s net production in the region to more than 100,000 barrels of oil each day.