Australian oil and gas company Woodside Energy announced that its Shenzi North project has commenced production in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.

Shenzi North is a two-well subsea tieback that harnesses the existing infrastructure at the Shenzi conventional oil and gas field to enhance the production capacity of the asset.

Discovered in 2017, it is the first development phase of Greater Wildling, with a resource and development plan supported by Ocean Bottom Node seismic data and analysis.

A second development well was drilled on the Shenzi North project in the Gulf of Mexico, with well completion operations being 42% complete at the end of the last year.

The project, which achieved a final investment decision (FID) in July 2021, started production earlier than the targeted first oil in 2024, said the Australian oil and gas company.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said: “The start-up of Shenzi North further demonstrated the value of Woodside’s US Gulf of Mexico assets, acquired as part of the merger with BHP’s petroleum business in 2022.

“First production from Shenzi North shows how we are leveraging existing infrastructure to increase production and provide attractive returns from our Gulf of Mexico business.

“Taking the project from FID to the first oil in 26 months is a great achievement. I commend the project team on safely bringing this resource into production well ahead of schedule.”

Shenzi North is a part of the Shenzi conventional oil and gas field, located around 195km off the coast of Louisiana in the Green Canyon protraction area.

Woodside owns a 72% stake in the conventional oil and gas field, and is also the operator, while Repsol holds the remaining 28% interest in the field.

Discovered in 2002, the Shenzi platform achieved its first production in 2009 and produces both oil and gas with a production capacity of 100,000bbl/d and 50MMscf/d.

The crude oil and natural gas produced from the field will be transported to connecting pipelines for onward sale to Gulf Coast customers, said Woodside.