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Image courtesy of BP/Flickr.

BHP Billiton said on Thursday that it has approved funding for the offshore Mad Dog Phase 2 project.

BHP said its board of directors approved a $2.2 billion expenditure for the company’s share of the Gulf of Mexico development.

BHP Billiton holds a 23.9 per cent participating interest in the Mad Dog field.

BP, the operator, holds a 60.5 percent participating interest in the field.

Union Oil Company of California, an affiliate of Chevron U.S.A., holds a 15.6 percent participating interest.

BP sanctioned the Mad Dog Phase 2 project in December 2016.

Mad Dog Phase 2, located in the Green Canyon area in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a southern and southwestern extension of the existing Mad Dog field.

The project includes a new floating production facility with the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day from up to 14 production wells.

The second Mad Dog platform will be moored about six miles to the southwest of the existing Mad Dog platform that is located in 4,500 feet of water about 190 miles south of New Orleans.

Production is expected to begin in the 2022 financial year.

BP discovered the Mad Dog field in 1998 and began production at the field in 2005.

The current Mad Dog platform has the capacity to produce up to 80,000 gross barrels of oil and 60 million gross cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to BP.

“Mad Dog Phase 2 is one of the largest, discovered and undeveloped resources in the Gulf of Mexico, one of BHP Billiton’s preferred conventional deep-water basins,” BHP Billiton President Operations Petroleum Steve Pastor said.