BP reported good news from the Gulf of Mexico, revealing plans to turn on the taps of a major project 11 months ahead of schedule and $150m (£120m) under budget.
The oil giant said production had started at its Thunder Horse project, which will boost supply from the area by 50,000 barrels per day.
“The Thunder Horse South Expansion... demonstrates that the US Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of our global portfolio today and for many years to come,” said BP chief exec Bob Dudley.
Along with the other elaborately named projects in the Gulf of Mexico – Mad Dog, Na Kika and Atlantis – Dudley said investment in region showed BP had made "clear progress in building a strong foundation for the future.”
The news comes as a boost for operations in the area, which continue with the long shadow of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010. The rig was leased to BP and while drilling the exploratory well at Macondo an underground explosion led to the deaths of 11 oil workers and large oil spills across the Gulf of Mexico.
Richard Morrison, the regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business said:
The Thunder Horse South Expansion project, brought online ahead of schedule and under budget, proves that deepwater can be done in a cost-effective way, while keeping a relentless focus on safety.
It also shows the effectiveness of our strategy in the Gulf, which is all about increasing production from within our existing asset base and large portfolio of undeveloped resources.
Dudley, meanwhile, added the news was a further step towards achieving BP's wider strategy.
“This project also marks the first of several major upstream start-ups expected before the end of this year and a major step toward our goal of adding 800,000 barrels of new production by 2020,” he said.
Similar to other major oil firms, BP's share price fell over two per cent in trading.