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The Tubular Bells production facility. Image courtesy of Hess.

The Hess operated Tubular Bells deepwater project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico saw its first crude oil and natural gas flow Monday.

The field is located 135 miles southeast of New Orleans, in 4,300 feet of water in the Mississippi Canyon area.

The discovery well was drilled in 2003 and project construction began in October 2011.

Tubular Bells, a joint venture between Hess and Chevron, is expected to deliver total production of about 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day producing from three wells.

The $3 billion Tubular Bells production facility is producing from the Miocene trend.

The floating production facility is a classic spar hull with traditional three-level topsides.

The field has an estimated production life of 25 years.

Chevron subsidiary Chevron U.S.A. holds a 42.86 percent working interest in Tubular Bells development.

Hess holds a 57.14 percent operating interest in the field.

“Achieving first oil at Tubular Bells is an important step towards Chevron achieving its production goal of 3.1 million barrels per day by 2017”, Chevron vice chairman and executive vice president of upstream George Kirkland said.