The Al-Ahdab oil field in central Iraq, operated by China National Petroleum Corp, began production Friday with 60,000 barrels per day, a senior official told AFP.
"Production from the Al-Ahdab oil field started today (Friday) with 60,000 barrels per day, and that will increase to 120,000 barrels in six months," said Ahmed Abdul Redha, the official in charge of operations.
Meanwhile, Mahdi Hussein Zubaidi, the governor of Wassit province where the field is located, said the oil revenue would create jobs and finance reconstruction.
"Oil production from this field is an important resource for reconstruction projects and will reduce unemployment," he said.
The contract with CNPC, signed in 2008, allows the Chinese company to develop the field for 23 years.
Output will mostly be exported, but some will be used to fuel power generation stations nearby to ease electricity shortages.
Under the agreement, CNPC will charge a service fee of $6 a barrel, decreasing it eventually to $3.