29/03/2012 10:07 BASRA, March 29 (AKnews) - The production rate of Italian oil company Eni in the Zubair oil field has climbed from 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 270,000, said Basra Provincial Council.

Media official Athier al-Abbadi said Eni is seeking to export 1.2 million barrels per day.

"The provincial council in Basra said during its talks with the delegation of the company that there's a need to increase the production rates and provide services for citizens in the areas that the company works in."

Al-Abbadi added that Basra government is working to hold meetings with the oil companies operating in the province to eliminate all of the obstacles facing their work.

Basra province, 550km south of Baghdad, is the center of Iraq's oil industry and includes two thirds - some 143 billion barrels - of the country's oil reserves. The province's crude oil exports stand at 1.9 million barrels per day out of a total 2.9 million in Iraq. Basra is also home to four out of Iraq's six gas fields.

Ten of the most prominent oil companies work in Basra, including Shell, Lukoil and Exxon Mobil, as well as five companies in the field of gas investment.

By Ammar al-Saleh