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January 23 2013, 08:51AM

BHP's production of oil and gas rose significantly in the six months to December, due to growth in its operations in the United States.

Total petroleum production was 121.15 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), up 11 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Natural gas production in the six months to December increased by 15 per cent from the same period in the previous year, while crude oil production rose by four per cent.

BHP's first-half production report also showed a seven per cent rise in energy coal output, compared to the previous corresponding period, while metallurgical coal production was in line with the same period in the previous year.