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Iraq to invite international firms to help build 300,000 b/d refinery: minister

Iraq plans to invite international companies to compete in order to build a 300,000 b/d refinery south of the country, the oil minister said Nov. 18, as OPEC’s second largest oil producer seeks to wean itself off crude products imports.

The refinery, to be built in Fao in the Basra Governorate, will be offered under the Build Operate Transfer or Build Own Operate Transfer investment model, Ihsan Ismaael said in a statement. A petrochemical facility could be integrated into the refinery at a later stage, he added.
Iraq wants to reach a throughput of around 910,000 b/d by the first quarter of 2022 and is focusing on two main projects, deputy oil minister Hamid al-Zobai told S&P Global Platts Sept. 17.

Iraq wants to add another 70,000 b/d to the Baiji complex by year-end, and 140,000 b/d in two years, boosting the facility’s refining capacity to 280,000 b/d to become once again the biggest in the country. The country also expects the 140,000 b/d greenfield Karbala refinery to be up and running by the first quarter of 2022, he added.

Investment refineries
Iraq also has various plans to build new refineries, but there are few details on the specifications of the projects and financing. These include a new 70,000 b/d refinery in Qayara, near the Qayara oil field in the north and other proposed “investment” refineries that seek to attract investors to potential locations, including Zubair in southern Iraq.

Ismaael said in September the ministry is in talks with ENI, the operator of Zubair field, to build a 300,000 b/d refinery in two phases next to the field.

Iraq’s gasoline and gasoil imports in the first three quarters of this year reached around 50,000 b/d and 25,000 b/d, respectively, according to FGE estimates. That compares with 65,000 b/d and 30,000 b/d of gasoline and gasoil imports respectively during a year-earlier period.

Source:  Platts

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