Siba started producing gas at an initial rate of 25 million cubic feet a day (MMcf/d), which is expected to increase to 100 MMcf/d by the end of the year, according to Kareem Abd Oda, the director general of the joint venture established by Iraq and Kuwait Energy to develop the field.
Siba, south of the city of Basra, is producing natural gas and gas condensates, he added.
The other hydrocarbon reservoirs of southern Iraq that are already in operation produce natural gas alongside crude oil.
The gas extracted in several of these fields is currently flared off instead of being captured, with Iraq currently lacking the capacity to process it into fuel for local consumption or exports.
The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government has started producing natural gas from fields in northern Iraq.
Iraq hopes to eliminate gas flaring by 2021, which costs nearly $2.5 billion in lost revenue for the government and would be sufficient to meet a large proportion of its unmet needs for gas-based power generation, according to the World Bank.