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Image courtesy of Exxon Mobil.

Exxon Mobil Corporation said Wednesday that its subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, has started oil production ahead of schedule and under budget at the Erha North Phase 2 project offshore Nigeria.

The Erha North Phase 2 project is a deepwater subsea development located 60 miles offshore Nigeria in 3,300 feet of water and four miles north of the Erha field.

The project includes seven wells from three drill centers tied back to the existing Erha North floating production, storage and offloading vessel, reducing additional infrastructure requirements, the company said.

The project will develop an estimated additional 165 million barrels from the currently producing Erha North field.

The Erha North field was discovered in 2004 and initial production commenced in 2006.

Peak production from the expansion is currently estimated at 65,000 barrels of oil per day and will increase total Erha North field production to about 90,000 barrels per day.

“Executing successful projects such as Erha North Phase 2 ahead of schedule and under budget results from ExxonMobil’s disciplined project management approach and expertise,” President of ExxonMobil Development Company Neil W. Duffin said.

Duffin added that the ahead-of-schedule startup was supported by strong performance from Nigerian contractors, who accounted for more than $2 billion of project investment for goods and services, including subsea equipment, facilities and offshore installation.

“These contracts are bringing direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment, consistent with project objectives,” Duffin said.

ExxonMobil expects to boost its global production volumes this year by 2 percent to 4.1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, driven by 7 percent liquids growth.

The volume increase is supported by the ramp up of projects completed in 2014 and the expected startup of major developments in 2015, the company added.

Operator Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited holds a 56.25 percent interest in Erha North Phase 2 and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company holds the remaining 43.75 percent share.