Iraq’s oil ministry said Sunday it had begun drilling the first well in the Huwaiza oil field near the Iranian border, which may contain one billion barrels in reserves.
The ministry said in a statement that state-run Maysan Oil Company will oversee the oil and natural gas industry in the region.
Iraq is OPEC’s second largest producer after Saudi Arabia and seeks to increase its production capacity to five million barrels per day at the end of the year from its current production rate of about 4.7 million bpd.
Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi was present when the drilling began at Huwaiza and also at the ceremony marking the beginning of the expansion work in the Halfaya oil field, according to separate oil ministry statements yesterday.
The expansion will double Halfaya’s capacity in 2018 to 400,000 barrels per day. The field is operated by PetroChina.