Malaysia’s Petronas has begun crude oil production at the Gharraf oil field in the south of Iraq, almost a year behind schedule.

Production is expected to rise to 35,000 barrels a day (b/d), according to a statement from Oil Minister, Abdulkarim al-Luaibi, who announced that the field began pumping crude oil on 31 August.

The field is being developed by Petronas, in consortium with Japan Petroleum Exploration Company and state-owned North Oil Company who agreed to raise production capacity to 230,000 b/d by 2017. The Malaysian firm has blamed infrastructure bottlenecks for the delays.

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.