LONDON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- It took a "massive undertaking" but British energy company BP said it increased production at Iraq's Rumaila oil field by 10 percent.
BP announced that its production team in Iraq increased production by more than 10 percent of the initial 1.06 million barrels per day at Rumaila.
"Reaching this production milestone is a great achievement and underlines BP's success in building its presence in the region," BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in a statement. "Increasing production at Rumaila, the world's fourth largest oilfield, has been a massive undertaking."
British energy company BP and the China National Petroleum Corp. offered to raise production at Rumaila to 2.85 million bpd within seven years. Once that level is reached, it would be the second most productive oil field after the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia.
BP said it had 20 rigs mobilized at Rumaila, noting 41 wells have been drilled in the field during the course of a year of work.
Recipients of technical service contracts in Iraq are required to increase oil production by 10 percent within three years of the 2009 contracts taking effect.
Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said in a statement the production increase was "an important step for Iraq," which one day hopes to rival Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production.