Iraq launches production at southern gas field

Baghdad (AFP) –


Iraq said Wednesday it had launched commercial production at its Siba gas field in the southern province of Basra in a joint venture with Kuwaiti, Turkish and Egyptian firms.

The oil ministry said initial production at the field is expected at 25 million cubic feet per day (700,000 cubic metres) and will eventually reach 100 million cubic feet (2.8 million cubic metres).

Energy-rich Iraq is looking to boost oil and gas production as it rebuilds its economy following years of turmoil, including the takeover of large parts of the country by the Islamic State group in 2014.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is seeking re-election next month, declared victory over IS in December after the jihadists were ousted from their major strongholds including second city Mosul.

The Siba field is jointly managed by Kuwait Energy, Turkey's TPAO, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Iraq's Maysan Oil Company (MOC).

Gas from the field is expected to be used for domestic electricity supplies.