EXPORTS from the Majnoon oilfield in southern Iraq have commenced in what operator Shell has hailed as a significant milestone for the field.

The first shipment of crude was exported to Shell Trading as Majnoon oilfield production reached a high of 210,000 barrels per day, well above the 175,000 bpd first commercial production target.

Shell operates the field in association with Iraqi state-owned group South Oil Company, Petronas and Missan Oil, with 18 new wells drilled to date.

Production started at the field in September 2013 following the completion of major overhaul works, including 2,800 hectares of mine clearance, extensive refurbishment of brownfield facilities to meet safety standards and the construction of a new greenfield central processing facility – the largest to be built in Iraq in the last decade – to allow for increased production capacity.

Shell Iraq chairman Hans Nijkamp said the production start was a historic event for the nation’s energy industry.

“It is a testimony to our shared progress and signals the start of Majnoon’s long-term journey toward generating further revenue for Iraq’s economy, and as an investment in Iraq’s future,” he said.