Exxon Mobil has commenced production at the Julia oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, ahead of schedule and under budget.
The firm said that the first production well is now online while production from the second well is planned to commence in near future.
Located approximately 265 miles southwest of New Orleans, in water depths of more than 7,000ft, the Julia field is being developed in phases and is equally owned by Statoil Gulf of Mexico and Exxon Mobil.
The $4bn first phase is expected to have an initial production capacity of 34,000 barrels of oil per day. It consists of subsea wells tied back to Chevron-operated Jack/St. Malo production facility for capital efficiency.
Estimated to have operational life of up to 40 years, the field consists of five leases including WR-584, WR-627, WR-628, WR-540 and WR-583, in the Walker Ridge area.
ExxonMobil Development Company president Neil Duffin said: "Successful deepwater developments like Julia, located more than 30,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, benefit from ExxonMobil’s disciplined project execution capabilities and commitment to developing quality resources using advanced technology."
ExxonMobil expects the initial production to provide insight into the potential future development of the reservoir.
Statoil and ExxonMobil are currently using the Maersk Viking drillship to drill a third well, which is planned to come online in early 2017.
ExxonMobil is planning add 450,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of working-interest production capacity with the start up of ten new upstream projects in 2016 and 2017.
Image: Maersk Drilling’s Maersk Viking drillship. Photo: courtesy of Maersk Drilling/ The Maersk Group.