Total announced that production began about 60 miles off the coast of Nigeria in waters about 2,700 feet deep. The Usan field is the second deep-water development for Total in Nigeria in three years.
"This project demonstrates the ability of Total, a key operator of large-scale deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea, to lead ambitious projects that will contribute to increase production for the Group and for the country," said Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of Total exploration and production, in a statement.
Total worked with Chevron in the Nigerian field development. Project development at the field includes the use of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel that can store 2 million barrels of oil. It can produce as much as 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Nigeria has at least 37 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and is the fifth-largest exporter to U.S. markets.
Oil exploration declined in Nigeria because producers are wary of investments without laws governing the energy sector. Legislation has been stalled in Parliament since 2009, though Nigerian officials had said a draft petroleum law would be sent to lawmakers within six weeks.