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Image courtesy of ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil said Tuesday that oil production has started at the Julia oil field in the Gulf of Mexico.

Production started under budget and ahead of schedule, Exxon said.

The first production well is now online and a second well will start production in the coming weeks.

The Julia development is located 265 miles southwest of New Orleans in water depths of more than 7,000 feet.

The initial development phase uses subsea tie-backs to the Chevron-operated Jack/St. Malo production facility, reducing the need for additional infrastructure and enhancing capital efficiency.

“Technology has also played a key role in the Julia development including the use of subsea pumps that have one of the deepest applications and highest design pressures in the industry to date,” Exxon said.

The Maersk “Viking” drillship is currently drilling a third well that is expected to come online in early 2017.

Exxon said production results are expected to assist in the evaluation of additional wells included in the initial development phase that has a design capacity of 34,000 barrels per day of oil.

“This initial production will provide ExxonMobil with insight into the potential future development of the reservoir,” president of ExxonMobil Development Company Neil W. Duffin said.

Discovered in 2007, the Julia field comprises five leases in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico.

ExxonMobil operates the field with a 50 percent stake.

Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC holds a 50 percent interest in the Julia unit.

ExxonMobil said it is on track to start up 10 new upstream projects in 2016 and 2017, adding 450,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day of working-interest production capacity.