UK-based natural gas and oil company BG Group, along with its partners have commenced production at the Sapinhoá field in block BM-S-9 offshore Brazil.

The company has deployed the first unit Cidade de São Paulo floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel on the Sapinhoá field.

In the first phase of development of the pre-salt Santos Basin, the second of 15 FPSO vessels will be deployed by the partners in blocks BM-S-9 and BM-S-11.

The field currently can process 120,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 176 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

Once the first well is linked to the vessel, 1-SPS-55, it will produce about 15,000bopd. The total capacity will increase over 25,000bopd subsequently.

Sapinhoá produces high quality oil with medium density (30° API).

BG Group chief executive officer Chris Finlayson said, "The Sapinhoá field enters commercial production only four-and-a-half years after its discovery, a further demonstration of the excellent progress we are making in developing our world-class discoveries in the Santos Basin."