Energy firms Hess and Chevron USA have commenced production at the Tubular Bells field, in the Mississippi Canyon area of the US Gulf of Mexico. Hess operates the Tubular field with a 57.14% working interest, while Chevron's subsidiary holds the remaining stake.
Located 135 miles south-east of New Orleans, the site should produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from three producing wells by the end of 2014. The field, which has an estimated production life of 25 years, was discovered in 2003, with project construction starting in October 2011.
Hess CEO John Hess said: "We are proud to deliver Tubular Bells safely and on budget. One year after Hess took over as operator, the project was sanctioned and fast tracked with an execution schedule to first oil in just three years."
Chevron vice-chairman and executive vice-president of upstream George Kirkland said: "The deepwater Gulf of Mexico plays a significant part in our earnings and production growth. Achieving first oil at Tubular Bells is an important step towards Chevron achieving its production goal of 3.1 million barrels a day by 2017."
The discovery well, located at a depth of about 1,310m, was drilled to a depth of approximately 9,488m by Transocean's Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible rig. The exploratory well struck about 58m of net oil pay.
An appraisal well was drilled in 2006 and found hydrocarbons 8km from the initial well.