Brazilian oil and gas company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes has started the first production at the Waimea field in the Campos Basin, off the coast of Brazil.

It marks the company’s movement from a pre-operational exploration company to a full-fledged producer. The firm said that the flow rate levels of oil will gradually be increased as per industry best practices for an optimal management of the reservoir; it also said that the field is expected to produce about 20,000 barrels a day initially.

OGX originally expected to produce its first oil at the Waimea prospect in the third quarter last year, but the project suffered weather-related problems and other delays that pushed the date back.

Crude oil output is expected to ramp up to 50,000 barrels a day later in 2012 when two additional wells at Waimea are connected to OSX-1.

OSX, a unit of OGX, is leasing the OSX-1 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, to OGX for 20 years to produce at Waimea; it holds a 100% stake in the BM-C-41 block in the Campos Basin, where the Waimea field is located.

The Waimea accumulation was discovered through wildcat well OGX-3 on 18 December 2009.

OGX Petróleo e Gás SA is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company and is conducting the largest private-sector exploratory campaign in Brazil.