IEA Sceptical of Iraq's Oil Output Plans

Iraq's infrastructure is in a sorry state after decades of war, rebellion, political turmoil and international sanctions imposed when Saddam Hussein was in power. Now the Oil Ministry has a $50 billion plan to modernize and expand energy infrastructure.

This involves extending its 4,500-mile-long pipeline network and building four more refineries as well as boosting export facilities through Turkey in the north and south through the Persian Gulf.

Discussions are under way with foreign companies on tendering for these projects that are intended to boost refining capacity by around 750,000 bpd.

Iraq has eight refineries with a combined capacity of 659,000 bpd but these have proven woefully inadequate in meeting domestic requirements since the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.

The ministry says the new refineries will be at the southern city of Nasiriyah, with a capacity of 300,000 bpd, Kirkuk in the north at 150,000 bpd, Maysan in the south at 150,000 bpd and the holy Shiite city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, at 140,000 bpd.

(Sources: UPI, Financial Times)

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