ExxonMobil Corporation said 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, Petrol Global News reported.

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 company said.

Production from the project has started five months ahead of schedule, and it took about $400m less than the planned budget. The project is likely to develop an additional 165m barrels from the currently producing Erha North field.

The expansion is expected to produce a peak of 65,000 bpd and will increase total production from the field to approximately 90,000 barrels per day, according to Oil Review Africa.

“These contracts are bringing direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment, consistent with project objectives,” Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company, said<.