SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq has begun producing gas from the Nasiriya oilfield in the south of the country at a rate of 50 million cubic feet a day, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in a statement on Saturday.
The production is part of an ambitious plan announced by the ministry in December to more than double its oil production at the oilfield from 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 200,000 bpd, without the help of international investors.
The development plans announced at the time included using 50 million cubic feet of gas produced as a by-product of oil production to supply power stations in the province.
Iraq has continued to flare some of the gas extracted alongside crude oil at its fields because it lacks the facilities to process it into fuel. Iraq has said it hopes to end gas flaring by 2021, which costs the government nearly $2.5 billion in lost revenue each year, according to the World Bank.
Reporting by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Mark Potter