British oil firm Afren expects to produce up to 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by the end of the first half of 2012 from a standing start at its Barda Rash field in Iraq's Kurdistan region, its chief executive said.
"The first half of next year, we'll have some production. Initially we would be looking at around 10,000 boepd, potentially up to 15,000 for the first phase," Osman Shahenshah said when asked about future output in Kurdistan in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.
"It would then go up in steps up to 30,000 to 35,000 boepd in the second phase in 2013."
Shahenshah said the entry of U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil into Kurdistan, confirmed on Sunday, was positive for Afren which bought its assets in the semi-autonomous part of Iraq earlier in 2011.
"The way I interpret it is, the dispute between north and south will be resolved. I am very, very bullish about this," he said.
Iraq's central government in the south of the country and oil-rich Kurdistan in the north have been at loggerheads for years over legislation that would go a long way towards deciding control of Iraq's reserves.
Shares in Afren, which have risen by 17 percent since reports Exxon Mobil had signed a deals in Kurdistan emerged on Friday, traded up 1.3 percent to 87.5 pence at 0954 GMT.