Analysts have previously flagged share buybacks would be possible in the 2015 financial year as free cash flow increases with higher output from recently completed projects.
A share buyback is generally seen as the preferred form of capital management for BHP Billiton as its stock is listed on both the Australian and London stock exchanges.
(Read more: Why it's time to turn bullish on miners)
Iron ore and coal have been designated by Mackenzie as two of the four "pillars" underpinning growth by the world's biggest mining house. The others are copper and petroleum.
BHP reported a 4 percent decline in quarterly output from its petroleum division but held its fiscal 2014 guidance of 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Unlike rival global miners like Rio Tinto, BHP has long relied on its petroleum business to offset soft periods in metal and coal markets. Its footprint in the sector has grown with the advent of shale gas and oil exploitation in the United States.
Oil and gas accounted for $13.2 billion in revenue for BHP last year, second only to the $20.2 billion generated by iron ore.