Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahrestani on Friday launched the exploratory drilling works in al-Gharaf field in Nassiriya after a 20-year pause, the official spokesman for the oil ministry said.
“The minister launched today the oil drilling works at al-Gharaf field in Nassiriya in southern Iraq after a two-decade pause,” Assem Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI) over the phone.
Last Wednesday, Jihad had said the Iraqi Ministry of Oil will continue its oil exploration in the coming few days, ending a two-decade pause.
“A celebration will be held in the coming few days and attended by the minister of oil, Hussein al-Shahrestani, on the occasion of the launch of the quake survey in al-Gharaf field in Thi Qar's capital city of Nassiriya," Assem Jihad added.
The survey will be conducted by one of three ministerial teams that have been recently set up to undertake exploration work, Jihad said, noting that the teams are comprised of engineers, geologists, geophysicists and technicians.
The spokesperson explained that Iraq's oil reserves is more than double the officially confirmed figure, which is 115 billion barrels, adding that the lack of exploration work throughout the past 20 years has played a role in the matter..Thi-Qar, 380 km south of Baghdad, has an area of 12,900 square kilometers (4,980.7 sq mi). In 2003 the estimated population of the governorate was 1,454,200 people. Thi-Qar's capital is the city of al-Nassiriya. It also includes the ancient Sumerian ruins of Ur, Eridu, Lagash and Ngirsu. Before 1976 the province was known as al-Muntafiq.
(Voices of Iraq)