ENI HAS started oil production from its West Hub development project in Block 15/06 offshore Angola in a “milestone” achievement for the company.

The West Hub development, located in deepwater about 350 kilometres northwest of Luanda and 130 kilometres west of Soyo, entailed the sequential start-up of the Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Mpungi North Area, Vandumbu and Ochigufu fields.

The field was producing 45,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) through the N’Goma floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, with production expected to more than double to 100,000 bopd in the coming months.

Eni said the development project began with a very successful exploration campaign, with 24 exploration and appraisal wells discovering over three billion barrels of oil in place and 850 million barrels of reserves.

The company said development moved quickly and efficiently, with an “industry-leading” time to market of 44 months from discovery to production.

Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi described the West Hub start-up at a “milestone in Eni’s upstream activities”.

“Starting from an extraordinary exploration success we have achieved an industry-leading time to market of only four years from the declaration of commercial discovery,” he said.

“This result reflects a new, modular, development model which adds value to our strategy of organic growth.

“The start up of the West Hub is also significant in terms of Eni’s presence in Angola, where we are again operator of a major producing project.”

In 2017, the start-up of the East Hub development will raise overall production to 200,000 bopd, Eni said.

Exploration was continuing in Block 15/06, with Eni citing the success of the recent Ochigufu discovery, which added 300 million barrels of oil in place to the play and will be tied into the N’Goma FPSO within two years.

The West Hub achievement was celebrated at a ceremony in Luanda attended by Mr Descalzi, Angola’s petroleum minister José Maria Botelho De Vasconcelos, Sonangol president Francisco de Lemos José Maria, other Angolan oil and gas representatives and Eni management.