AMMAN -(Dow Jones)- Oil and gas developer Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. (JAPEX) is helping Iraq carry out seismic surveys a prized oil field in the south, a senior Iraqi oil official said Monday.

JAPEX is providing remote supervision to an Iraqi 3D seismic survey team to survey the Gharraf oil field in Nassiriya province, which has a preliminary estimated reserve of 1.1 billion barrels.

JAPEX has supplied the team with more than $10 million of equipment and has provided up-to-date training to its members in Japan and France, the official said. The Japanese company is providing these equipment and assistant to the Iraqi Oil Ministry free of charge, he said.

The team has already started seismic surveys in the field and is expected to finish work in four to five months, he said. The team will also survey other Iraqi oil fields, he said without naming them.

Gharraf, one of Iraq’s untapped oil fields, is expected to produce up to 150, 000 barrels a day when it is developed, the official said. Iraq currently produces around 2.4 million barrels a day and plans to reach 3 million barrels a day by the end of 2008.

-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; + 962 777 612 111; hassan.hafidh@