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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
DNO tees up Iraqi oil production
Workers trying to put out an oil pipeline fire
Oil production in Iraq is a business beset by security concerns
Shares of Norwegian oil firm DNO jumped more than 10% on Monday amid optimism it will start pumping crude in Iraq.

DNO said that if tests go well, it should start production at its Tawke field in northern Iraq early in 2007.

In mid-morning trading, the stock was trading at 54.50 crowns, valuing the firm at 12.2bn crowns ($1.9bn: 1bn).

DNO has been one of the best performers on the Oslo stock exchange over the past year, buoyed by higher crude prices and the outlook for new wells.

First production

The company already produces some oil in the North Sea and Yemen, and should its field in northern Iraq yield results, it will be the first foreign firm to pump crude in the country since the US-led invasion.

"DNO is currently undertaking feasibility studies for future possible oil production from the Tawke Area, including a fast-track option," the company said in a statement.

"Based on the results to date and contingent on successful outcome of the well tests, first test production of oil from the Tawke Area could commence first quarter 2007."

The company said it was too early to tell how big the field was and what its total output could be.

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