Less than a year after planned production was due to start, Apache Corporation says its Van Gogh oil project in the Exmouth Basin has started operations today.
Apache co-chief operating officer and president - international Rod Eichler said production from the operation is projected to ramp up during the first half of the year, and will make a significant contribution to Apache's growth in 2010.
Van Gogh, discovered in 2003, is Apache's first field development using a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, called Ningaloo Vision.
The vessel has capacity to produce 150,000 barrels of liquids each day, including 63,000 barrels of oil per day, and store 540,000 barrels of oil.
Apache had planned to start operations at Van Gogh mid last year however in April the vessel caught fire at a shipyard in Singapore, pushing back the project start-up time.
Apache added that another of its projects, Pyrenees, operated by BHP Billiton Petroleum, is expected to come online during the first half of this year.
Both projects are expected to add a combined peak production of 40,000 barrels each day to the company.