BP has announced the successful start-up of what it claims to be the world's deepest subsea multi-phase pump project with the potential to increase the recovery of oil from deepwater fields.

The company claims that the installation of two subsea pumps and associated equipment at the King Field in the Gulf of Mexico would set records for both depth and distance.

At 5,500 feet below the sea’s surface, the King Field’s facilities are in water almost twice as deep as the previous deepest installation of multi-phase pumps. The pumps are also positioned over 15 miles from the Marlin tension leg platform, well over twice the previous record distance from a host platform of six miles.

BP is the 100% owner and operator of the field. The two pumps would reportedly enhance production from the field by an average of 20%. In addition to the increase in production, the project reportedly allows a 7% increase in recovery factor extending the economic life of the field by five years, according to the company release.

Andy Inglis, BP’s chief executive for exploration and production, said: In line with our strategy to maximize reserves from our existing fields, the application of this cutting edge technology across BP’s large deepwater portfolio has the potential to unlock significant resources that would otherwise remain unrecoverable.