BP and Delek Group-owned Ithaca Energy have started oil and gas production at the Vorlich field in Britain's central North Sea, the companies said on Thursday.

The project is expected to produce 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) at its peak and has resources of 30 million barrels of oil equivalent.

BP holds a 66% stake in the field while Ithaca, the operator of the 230 million pound (US$307 million) project, holds the remaining 34%.

It is BP's third of five major projects expected to start up in 2020 as part of a plan to increase the company's production by 900,000 boe/d in the five years to the end of 2021.

More long term, though, BP aims to reduce its overall oil production by 1 million barrels per day, or roughly 40% of total output, by 2030 as part of a shift to renewable energy to lower its greenhouse gas emissions.