Australian oil and gas company Woodside Energy has commenced production at the deepwater Shenzi North project in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The project is a two-well subsea tieback that boosts the asset’s production potential by using the existing Shenzi infrastructure.

The final investment decision (FID) on the Shenzi North project was made in July 2021 and the project began production ahead of the targeted first oil in 2024.

According to GlobalData, output from the Shenzi North conventional oil development project is predicted to reach its peak in 2026 and then sustain until the field reaches its economic limit in 2069, based on economic assumptions.

As the operator, Woodside owns a 72% stake in the Shenzi conventional oil and gas field, while Repsol owns the remaining 28% stake.

The field is situated in the Green Canyon protraction area, around 195km off the coast of Louisiana.

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According to Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill, the start up of Shenzi North further highlights the significance of the US Gulf of Mexico assets that Woodside purchased as part of the merger with BHP‘s petroleum business.

“First production from Shenzi North shows how we are leveraging existing infrastructure to increase production and provide attractive returns from our Gulf of Mexico business. Taking the project from FID to first oil in 26 months is a great achievement. I commend the project team on safely bringing this resource into production well ahead of schedule,” she added.

Last month, Mexican regulator Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos approved Woodside’s field development plan for the proposed $7.2bn (125.2bn pesos) Trion ultra-deepwater oil project.

Woodside owns a 60% stake and Mexican Government-backed oil company Pemex Exploración y Producción controls the remaining stake in the Trion development located in the Gulf of Mexico.