Reuters reports that ExxonMobil is expected to raise production at Iraq's West Qurna I oilfield by 10 percent over the agreed baseline this month or in early April.
When asked when Exxon would hit its initial production target in West Qurna, Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of the Oil Ministry's licensing and contracting office, told Reuters,"God willing, during this month or start of April".
That would qualify Exxon and its partners to start recovering investment costs, Ameedi said.
ExxonMobil and partner Shell won a contract to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna I field. The group aims to boost output to 2.825 million bpd after setting baseline production at 244,000 bpd.
An oil source said on Thursday that Exxon has already managed to hit its initial output target in West Qurna by boosting production to more than 268,000 bpd. The increase is being examined by the Iraqi Oil Ministry.
Higher production rates must be sustained for 30 days before the firms are able to recover development costs.