Iraq's oil ministry announced on Friday that it would begin drilling for oil in the southern Gharraf oil fields by the end of the year.
Officials said initial production levels of 50,000 barrels per day from eight oil wells are expected.
Malaysia's state-owned oil company Petronas and the Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (Japex) signed a deal with the Iraqi government late last year to develop the Gharraf oil fields.
The deal envisages 20 oil wells with an estimated daily output of 230,000 barrels over 20 years.
Iraq's state oil company holds a minority share in the partnership.
Petronas has also just announced that it will train 60 Iraqi engineers in Malaysia to work on the Gharraf project.
(Sources: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Rigzone, Azzaman)