A subsidiary of British oil major BP has started production from the Platina oil field located in the Block 18 concession, approximately 160km off the coast of Angola.

The field is tied-back to the Greater Plutonio floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Holding an estimated 44 million barrels of oil reserves, the Platina field is expected to reach a peak production output of 30 thousand barrels of oil per day.

It forms part the Greater Plutonio development, which also includes the Galio, Cromio, Paladio , and Cobalto fields.

Angola’s National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG ) acting CEO Belarmino Chitangueleca said: “With this and other projects, we are gradually meeting the objectives of preventing production decline and increasing production levels with the ongoing bidding of projects.”

BP Angola senior vice-president Adriano Bastos said: “Platina is a great example of the type of project that BP is pursuing – efficiently producing resilient resources from basins we know well, and making the very best use of our existing facilities.

“This way, we create the greatest value for BP, our partners and Angola.”

Adriano also pointed out that ‘the Platina was delivered ahead of schedule and significantly under budget, only made possible through the commitment of ANPG, the contractor group, and the BP team’.

BP Angola operates Block 18 with a 46% stake. Other partners include Sinopec (37.72%) and Sonangol P&P (16.28%).

This field is expected to support the oil production capacity in Angola, which is the second-biggest oil exporter in Africa after Nigeria.

Angola produces around 1.3 million barrels of oil per day (Mbpd) and around 17,900 million cubic feet of natural gas.

In a separate development, global crude oil prices have dropped by more than 2% today due to concerns over a surplus global supply in the first quarter of 2022 as a result of US-led coordinated release of crude reserves to decrease prices.

Brent crude futures reduced prices by $1.69, or 2.1%, to reach $80.53 a barrel at 03:27 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate crude dropped their prices by $2.04, or 2.6%, to touch $76.35 a barrel, reported Reuters.

CMC Markets analyst Kelvin Wong was cited by the news agency as saying that the crude oil prices are likely to have dropped over concerns due to new Covid-19 variant impacting the demand.

Earlier this month, BP and Aker jointly divested a 5% stake in Norwegian oil and gas joint venture Aker BP.