UK energy company bp has commenced the production of oil at its Argos offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Located 190 miles south of New Orleans in 4,500 feet of water, Argos can produce up to 140,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

It is the first new production facility run by bp in the region since 2008, and the company’s fifth platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

The semi-submersible platform is expected to ultimately result in a 20% increase in bp’s gross operating production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico.

Through 2023, bp intends to gradually ramp up production at Argos.

Company chief executive Bernard Looney said: “The start-up of Argos is a fantastic achievement that helps deliver our integrated energy strategy – investing in today’s energy system and, at the same time, investing in the energy transition.

“As bp’s most digital facility worldwide, applying our latest technologies, Argos will strengthen our key position in the Gulf of Mexico for years to come.”

Argos is the main component of bp’s Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which is an extension of the existing bp-operated Mad Dog offshore oil and gas field discovered in 1998.

It is one of nine significant high-margin projects that the company wants to launch across the globe by the end of 2025.

With a 60.5% working interest, bp is the project’s operator. Woodside Energy (23.9%) and Union Oil Company of California, a subsidiary of Chevron USA (15.6%), are co-owners.