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Japex Delays Start of Production at Iraq’s Garraf Oil Field

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., the country’s second-biggest oil and gas explorer, and its partners have delayed the start of production in the Garraf oil field in southern Iraq by six months to June.

Production was scheduled for the end of 2012, according to the Japanese explorer’s latest annual report. The delay was caused by issues including Iraq’s poor infrastructure, said a company official who asked not to be identified in line with internal policy.

The company known as Japex expects initial production of 60,000 barrels a day, rising to 230,000 barrels a day in 2017, President Osamu Watanabe said yesterday.

Japex and Petroliam Nasional Bhd., the Malaysian state oil company known as Petronas, won a $7 billion contract to develop the Garraf field in 2009. Iraq is expected to more than double its oil production output to 6.1 million barrels a day by 2020, the International Energy Agency said in October.

Petronas owns 45 percent of the project, a Japex subsidiary 30 percent and Iraq’s North Oil Company has the rest, according to Japex’s report.

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