Shell has lifted its first cargo of oil from the Majnoun oilfield that it operates in southern Iraq, calling it a milestone, cashing in on the troubled project that kicked off late last year after months of delay. At the same time, the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) in which Shell has a major stake has awarded a significant contract that will help cut down on wasteful flaring that has risen to record levels.

In a 7 April statement, Shell said Majnoun, which resumed production late last year after a shutdown that lasted for more than a year, is producing an average of 210,000 b/d, well in excess of the 175,000 b/d first commercial production target that triggers cost recovery. (CONTINUED - 1015 WORDS)