In an interview with AKnews on Friday, the oil products director of north Iraq, Mohammed Ahmed Zebari, shared his vision for the country’s oil prospects.
Zebari maintained that if the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) concentrated on improving the two refineries of Kavragosk and Baziyan, the two could provide the required petrol for the whole Region in 2011.
AKnews: How come that you, a Kurd, were assigned as the director general for north Iraqi oil while Erbil and Baghdad are still debating over oil and gas bill?
Zebari: I have been working in the oil sector across Iraq for the past 38 years, and in that time I have assumed different top positions. In 2003 I was democratically elected to my current office.
AKnews: Kirkuk’s oilfields have been in production for many years; what is the oil capacity of the province at the present time?
Zebari: The ousted Iraqi Baath regime’s production of oil in the province was not scientific. Currently the underground crude oil of the province has dropped 60 percent in particular in the Avana, Shura refineries [??].
There are some other refineries in Kirkuk but if the territorial disputes between the KRG and Baghdad government are settled, and in case some areas incorporate into the Region, the province’s oil resources may decline further for a number of the refineries are located in the affected areas.
AKnews: Can the Kurdistan Region depend on its oil products to provide for its local fuel requirements?
Zebari: If KRG concentrates on improving the two refineries of Kavragosk and Baziyan, the two refineries can provide the required gasoline, kerosene, and petrol for the whole Region in 2011.