Energy Partners Ltd., New Orleans, (NYSE: EPL) has commenced its first deepwater Gulf of Mexico production, the Raton gas well in Mississippi Canyon 248.

The well commenced production late in the fourth quarter and is the first deepwater GOM production for Energy Partners since it began its deepwater program in 2006. The Raton well has been ramped up to a gross current rate of 32 million cubic feet and 440 barrels of condensate per day. Energy Partners owns a 33% working interest in this well.

Energy Partners chairman and chief executive Richard A. Bachmann says, “While our fourth quarter production was significantly impacted by third-party pipeline and partner delays, we now have clearer visibility on our volumes returning to pre-storm and then higher levels in the very near future. Our production is also being positively impacted by the initiation of production from Raton, our first deepwater field, and with the restoration of the Bluewater pipeline system we should see benefit from the prior year success at South Marsh Island 79.”

Energy Partners has oil and gas operations onshore and offshore U. S. Gulf Coast.