BP announced it started operations at the Devenick natural gas project in the central North Sea. Production there is to peak next year with a volume of about 100 million cubic feet per day.
British Energy Minister John Hayes said that, with winter approaching, the announcement was welcome news for his country.
"When the Devenick project comes on full stream it will add an extra 3 percent to current U.K. gas production -- enough to supply the equivalent of more than half a million homes a year," he said.
The Devenick field holds an estimated 490 cubic feet of natural gas and production there is expected to last until 2025. Natural gas is sent by pipeline to the mainland where it connects to the British natural gas grid.
BP has a majority stake in the project alongside German energy company RWE.