Iraq inks initial agreement to develop 70,000 b/d refinery to process heavy Qayara crude
Iraq has signed a heads of agreement with Sweden’s SEAB and Turkey’s Limak to develop a 70,000 b/d refinery to process Qayara heavy crude, the oil ministry said Sept. 16, as OPEC’s second-largest producer seeks to lower energy imports.
The agreement was signed between state-owned North Refineries Co., SEAB and Limak, the ministry said in a statement. No timeline was given for developing the refinery.
The ministry in January signed an initial agreement with a consortium that includes China’s Norinco, Power China and CNEC to build a 100,000 b/d refinery in Dhi Qar governorate in the south. The country is also building a greenfield 140,000 b/d refinery in Karbala in central Iraq.
Iraq late last year doubled the capacity of the Baiji refining complex in the north to 140,000 b/d and the ministry wants to return the facility to the original 280,000 b/d capacity in the next few years. The complex was damaged during the 2014-2017 war against the Islamic State militia.
Iraq continues to import gasoline and gasoil to fulfill its domestic needs as much of its existing refining capacity is old and dilapidated or still being rehabilitated.