China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has completed the construction of its first phase of the Al-Ahdab oil field development, in the Wasit province of eastern Iraq.

Work on the Al-Ahdab oil field began in March 2009, after the company signed Iraq’s first post-Saddam oil field contract in 2008. Under the $4bn deal, CNPC agreed to raise production to between 110,000-130,000 barrels a day (b/d), China Petroleum Daily reports.

Phase 1 has boosted production capacity to 60,000 b/d ahead of schedule, according to the CNPC in-house newspaper.

CNPC is the largest investor in Iraq’s oil sector, partnering with the UK’s BP at the Rumaila field and a consortium of France’s Total and Malaysia’s Petronas at the Halfaya oil field. In May, the state-owned firm received its first cargo of crude oil from the Rumaila field as payment for its part in the development (MEED 30:5:11).