Malaysia’s Petronas is expected to begin oil production by the end of August from the 1 billion barrel Gharraf oil field in the southern Iraq, according to a statement from the Oil Ministry.

The startup, expected at about 35,000 barrels a day (b/d) is almost a year behind Petronas’ original schedule to begin in September 2012.

US oil services firm Weatherford International is carrying out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the first commercial production (FCP) facilities, which consist of two crude production trains with a capacity of 50,000 b/d each.

The Malaysian firm has blamed infrastructure bottlenecks for the delays. It plans to reach production capacity of 230,000 b/d by 2017. Petronas leads the development of the field, along with Japan Petroleum Exploration Company and Iraq’s North Oil Company.