July 17 (UPI) -- Production from an oil reservoir in the Kurdish north of Iraq has increased by more than 60 percent, Norwegian energy company DNO announced Tuesday.
After completing testing on its fourth well in the Peshkabir field in the Tawke license area in the Kurdish north, the company said the increase put the target's output at an average of 25,000 barrels of oil per day.
"The pickup in Peshkabir production puts new meaning to the fast in fast track in development of this field by the DNO team," DNO Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement. "And we expect Peshkabir to continue to surprise to the upside."
DNO said its total operated production last year averaged 113,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up just a fraction of a percent from 2016. The company draws from non-Kurdish basins in Yemen, Oman and elsewhere.
Annual revenues, however, climbed 72 percent from 2016 to $347 million. The company in April announced plans to drill 10 new wells in the Kurdish north this year, which would contribute to production growth.
DNO said Tuesday it's already drilled its fifth well in the Peshkabir field and it will enter into production by August. If drilling proceeds without complications, the company said it would reach its Peshkabir production target of 30,000 bpd as planned.
The central Iraqi government in Baghdad doesn't register northern export figures in its totals. Oil flows north from Kurdish territory by trucks and pipeline. Conflict in the north left a separate pipeline in the disputed region of Kirkuk heavily damaged and in need of repairs in recent years. Political unrest in southern Iraq could spill over to the oil sector, though there are few signs of any curtailments so far.
DNO is the operator of the Tawke license, alongside minority partner Genel Energy. Total production from all Kurdish assets have averaged 105,000 bpd year-to-date.
"Peshkabir continues to exceed our expectations," Genel CEO Murat Özgül said in a separate statement.
Iraq is the second-largest oil producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists put June's production at an average of 4.5 million bpd.