MOSCOW, June 2 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said Monday it started preliminary oil production from the Badra oil field in Iraq, where it serves as the operator.
Badra is located in the eastern Iraqi province of Wasit and has estimated reserves of 3 billion barrels of oil.
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas company Gazprom, said initial production began and testing is underway at a central processing center to prepare for full-scale commercial operations. The test program should run for three months.
"The Badra field will then be ready to reach planned production levels of 15,000 barrels per day," the company said in a statement.
The company in March said it completed laying, testing and connecting a 100-mile oil pipeline from the Badra oil field to the Gharraf oil field in neighboring Nassariya province.
The company is operating under the terms of a 2009 agreement with the Iraqi government to develop the Badra field for the next 20 years.
"Development at the Badra field is one of Gazprom Neft's first international assets in oil production," Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vadim Yakovlev said in a statement.