US-based Murphy Oil has started oil production from a new deepwater Gulf of Mexico project, ahead of schedule.

The project comprises the Khaleesi / Mormont fields in Green Canyon blocks 389 and 478, respectively, and the Samurai field, located in Green Canyon block 432.

The firm said that the King’s Quay floating production system (FPS) has started producing oil from the first two wells in the Khaleesi, Mormont, and Samurai fields, off the coast of Louisiana.

Murphy Oil is working to complete the remaining five wells as part of the project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022.

Once fully operational, the project is expected to have a production capacity of as much as 85,000 barrels of oil, and 100 million cubic feet of natural gas, per day.

Murphy Oil president and CEO Roger Jenkins said: “This has been a strategic project of ours since we acquired the Khaleesi / Mormont assets, in mid-2019, and integrated our Samurai discovery into the overall development.

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“The production coming online is forecast to generate significant free cash flow, which will allow us to continue to deliver with $600m to $650m of targeted debt reduction this year, and the optionality of up to $1bn in 2023 while simultaneously reviewing our dividend.”

Through its subsidiary Murphy Exploration & Production Company – USA, Murphy operates the King’s Quay FPS and related export lateral pipelines.

Murphy produces oil and natural gas from several operated and non-operated fields, that are located across more than 100 blocks, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The produced hydrocarbons are transported through a pipeline, or to an FPS, to shore. The company also holds several exploration prospects across 51 blocks, in the Gulf of Mexico.