Oil major BP and its partner Ithaca Energy have started production from the Vorlich field in the Central North Sea.

BP and Ithaca invested £230m ($307m) in the development of the Vorlich field.

Located about 241km east of Aberdeen, the two-well Vorlich development will be connected to the Ithaca Energy-operated FPF-1 floating production facility, which lies at the centre of Greater Stella Area production hub. Ithaca owns a 34% interest in Vorlich.

The field is expected to produce 20,000boepd at peak production.

BP operates the field and owns a 66% stake while the remaining 34% is held with Ithaca energy.

BP North Sea senior vice-president Emeka Emembolu said: “In just two short years, BP and our partner, Ithaca Energy, have pulled out all the stops to rapidly bring Vorlich online against a highly challenged backdrop.”

Vorlich is the third of BP’s five major projects expected to start this year, as part of a plan to increase the company’s production by 900,000boepd from the major projects by the end of next year.

BP Central North Sea tiebacks project manager Stuart Johnstone said: “It goes without saying that all the decisions taken in response to Covid were absolutely necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our colleagues on the project.

“But, with industry in lockdown and an ever-decreasing summer work window, it was hard to remain upbeat around the chances of bringing Vorlich online this year. Despite this, we dug deep, pulling out all the stops to turn things around.”

In June 2019, Greenpeace activists boarded  BP’s 27,000t Paul B Loyd Jr rig bound for the North Sea in an attempt to stop the platform from reaching the Vorlich oil field.