Iraq Needs $30 Billion for Five Oil-Refinery Projects

Source: Bloomberg 9/8/2011, Location: Middle East

Iraq is seeking about $30 billion of investments to build five oil refineries as OPEC’s third-largest crude producer plans to add enough fuel-processing capacity to avoid importing gasoline and diesel. The projects would raise Iraq’s capacity to transform crude into fuels by 900,000 barrels a day, the country’s Deputy Oil Minister Ahmed al-Shamma said at the Iraq Mining 2011 conference in London.

Iraq, which generates most of its revenue by exporting oil, imports about 30 percent of the gasoline it uses, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The country is seeking foreign investors to build the refineries and develop oil and gas fields to boost output.

The nation imports about 10 million liters of gasoline each day to meet domestic demand, al-Shamma said. It is the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries not held to a production quota.

Four refineries planned for Kirkuk, Maysan, Nassiriyah and Karbala are in design and engineering stages and would together add 750,000 barrels a day of capacity. In addition, a proposed 150,000 barrel-a-day facility at Nineveh is at a provisional phase and would refine heavy crude once production starts at nearby fields, al-Shamma said. The government also wants to add 70,000 barrels a day of capacity at an existing refinery in Basra in the country’s south early next year, he said.


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