Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co said it has started gas production from the Henry and Netherby fields off the coast of Victoria state in southern Australia.

A Mitsui subsidiary has a 25% interest in the project, in which estimated reserves from the Henry field are 5.47 billion cubic metres.

This represents the equivalent of about 350 million barrels.

Australian energy firm Santos is the operator of the field and has a 50% stake in it, while Australian Worldwide Exploration owns the remaining 25%.