Iraq is increasing crude oil production from its Qayara oil field with a target of 60,000 b/d before 2019,  S&P Global Platts reported.

The current production levels of 30,000 b/d will be doubled by the end of 2018, according to an Iraqi Oil Ministry statement, which also stated that the crude from the field was being exported the first time by Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).

The field began operating again in 2017 for the first time in three years after Islamic State insurgents were driven out of the area.

Due to a lack of viable alternatives, crude from this field used to be transported solely to the nearby Qayara refinery. Since it restarted operations, a road has been build to facilitate truck transport of the oil both internally to Kurdistan and for exports to Turkey and Iran, sources close to the matter told S&P Global Platts.

Qayara has 1.52 billion barrels in proven reserves of heavy (API gravity 15-18 degrees) oil.

In June 2014, IS operatives took hold of the field for more than two years, setting fire to more than a dozen wells.

Angola’s Sonangol, the previous operator of the field before a force majeure was declared in 2010 due to the poor security situation, resumed work in late 2017 after more wells were drilled.