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Production starts at ultra-deep Gulf oil field

Petrobras USA says production has begun at its Chinook oil field in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The company says production started last week in the field using a specialized ship that processes and stores oil and natural gas in place of a production platform. The field is being worked by BW Pioneer, a type of ship known in the oil industry as a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO.

Petrobras relies on FPSOs extensively in Brazilian waters. This kind of oil-and-gas processing ship is used widely around the world for years but only now has made an entry into the Gulf.

The Chinook field is about 155 miles off the Louisiana coast. The field is owned by Petrobras and Total Exploration Production USA Inc.

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