The Brazilian state-owned oil company, Petrobras, has begun using a Chinese-built floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, the Petrobras 70, to extract oil and natural gas from the Atapu area of the Santos Bay pre-salt field off Brazil, Agência Brasil reports.

The Brazilian state-run news agency says the Petrobras 70 began work about 210 km offshore, tapping resources 2,300 metres below the surface.

The report says the Petrobras 70 can handle 150,000 barrels of oil and 6 million cubic metres of natural gas a day.

The FPSO vessel is the fifth Petrobras has deployed off Brazil, Agência Brasil says.

In January the Portuguese news agency, Lusa, reported that state-owned China Offshore Oil Engineering Co. Ltd had built Petrobras 70 in its shipyard in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao.