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China’s CNPC to boost Iraqi oilfield output

China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country’s top oil producer, aims to boost output at a giant Iraqi oilfield by 10 percent this year, a newspaper owned by the company said Tuesday.

CNPC and Britain’s BP in November signed a deal with Iraq to nearly triple production from the current one million barrels a day to 2.85 million barrels at the Rumaila field over the next six to seven years.

The consortium will fully take over work on the oilfield by June 30 and plans to increase its output by 10 percent by the end of this year, said a report by China Petroleum Daily, a newpaper owned by CNPC.

The companies are projected to invest 14 to 20 billion dollars between them and have agreed to accept payment of two dollars per additional barrel produced at Rumaila.

Rumaila is already integral to Iraq’s oil output, contributing almost half of the nation’s current production of around 2.5 million bpd, and is estimated to have further reserves of 17.7 billion barrels.

China has been aggressively securing overseas oil production contracts as it seek to meet soaring energy demand at home.