China brings Ahdab field online

After renegotiating a Saddam Hussein-era contract, the China National Petroleum Corp. starts pumping Ahdab oil.
China brings Ahdab field online
Chinese workers conduct seismic surveys at the Ahdab oil field in Wasit province on March 11, 2009. (THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters)

The Ahdab oil field is now producing 35,000 barrels per day (bpd) - and could reach 200,000 bpd by the beginning of 2013 - having overcome controversy since a Chinese state oil firm inked the deal in 2008.

Its development is both a bellwether of an emerging Sino-Iraqi strategic partnership, and a product of the oil strategy pioneered by Hussain al-Shahristani, who was oil minister at the time of the deal's signing and subsequently enlisted the world's largest oil companies in a dozen more contracts to help super-charge the Iraqi oil sector.

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