“The oil minister visited Safwan oilfield and inaugurated the installment of many rigs, which are due to start drilling in a few days,” oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said.

Several fields overlap the border, including the Rumaila South field and also the Safwan and Zubair fields.

During a visit to the joint border fields, Oil Minister Hussain Shahristani said that until an agreement is entered with Kuwait, Iraq will drill additional wells in the region, his spokesman said.

“We will start drilling more wells in the border field of Safwan to make the most of crude available to raise production and export rates,” Jihad quoted Shahristani as saying.

Iraq has not signed any agreement setting out the technical and legal mechanisms to spend in oilfields shared by the two nations.