The Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell has begun pumping oil from a huge new field off the coast of Nigeria.

Shell says the Bonga field will produce 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million cubic feet of gas per day. It says it hopes to reach the production targets "as soon as possible."

Shell says the field will increase Nigeria's total oil output by 10 percent.

The West African nation currently produces 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day. The government has said it wants to raise that figure to four million barrels per day by 2010.

Shell says the cost of bringing the deepwater field into production was $3.6 billion, about $1 billion more than originally projected.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.