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Iraq’s Gharraf Oil Field Will Start Production by September

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. will start producing crude from the Gharraf oil field in southern Iraq by September, said Sattar Mahdi, head of field development.

Gharraf will initially produce about 35,000 barrels a day by the end of the third quarter of this year and will gradually increase capacity to 230,000 barrels a day by 2017, Mahdi said in an e-mailed statement from Baghdad today. The companies recently drilled four wells in Gharraf and will drill another 13 in the next six months, he said.

The Iraqi government signed a contract with Petronas and Japex in January 2010 to develop the Gharraf oil field. Iraq, which holds the world’s fifth-largest crude deposits, according BP Plc data, wants to raise production and exports to promote economic growth. It has granted 15 oil and gas licenses since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and plans a new round on April 11-12.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kadhim Ajrash in Baghdad through the Dubai newsroom at kajrash@bloomberg.net; Nayla Razzouk in Dubai at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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