China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has increased production capacity at the Halfaya oil field in the southeast of Iraq to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) 15 months ahead of schedule.

The company had planned to reach 70,000 b/d by June this year, according to a CNPC statement.

CNPC has also begun early work on the second phase of the development, including a new central processing facility (CPF), which will take production up to 200,000 b/d.

The phase 1 CPF is being built by China Petroleum Engineering Construction Company (CPEEC), a CNPC subsidiary that was awarded the contract in May 2011.

Another CNPC subsidiary, Petrochina, leads the development of the Halfaya field with a 37.5 per cent stake. It is joined by France’s Total with 18.75 per cent and Malaysia’s Petronas with another 18.75 per cent, while state-owned Missan Oil Company holds 25 per cent. The group agreed to raise production to 535,000 b/d by 2016.

In February 2012, Petrochina issued a tender in February 2012 for the provision of general engineering services (GES) for the second phase of its surface facilities at the field. A winner has not yet been selected.

Petrochina plans to commission the phase 2 facilities by the end of 2013. The design period for the packages is about five months, although the central processing facilities and gas plant designs will take up to seven months to complete.

The 4.1-billion-barrel Halfaya oil field was discovered in 1976, but production only began in 2005, reaching 10,000 b/d when it was first launched in the second oil field licensing round.