Iraq expects to double output at the southern Halfaya oilfield, to reach its planned maximum of 400,000b/d in 2018, Iran Daily reported.

Director General of the state-run Missan Oil Company,  Adnan Noshi, said that Iraq has approved PetroChina’s plans to launch the third phase of development at the field that now produces about 200,000b/d.

According to The Oil & Gas Year, in early 2016, Missan Oil Company first suggested that PetroChina parent company China National Petroleum Corporation started the third stage of the Halfaya oilfield project. At the time it said the company would have to agree to deferred payments that are applicable once the extra oil is produced.

Missan Oil Company revealed the completion of drilling operations on five new wells in the Halfaya field, according to Rebuilding Iraq website. This brought the total number of holes drilled in the field to 152. The additional wells should help boost production to the estimated phase-three levels.

PetroChina’s partners with Total and Petronas on the Halfaya development, with each holding a 22.5% stake in the field. South Oil Company, re-branded Basra Oil Company, represents the Iraqi government and holds a 10% stake.