Iraq to Double Refinery Capacity by 2020

Iraq plans to double refining capacity by 2020 to meet domestic demand and allow for exports, according to an article from Bloomberg.

Iraq plans to increase its daily oil-processing capacity to 1.5 million barrels by the end of the decade from 750,000 barrels today, Iraqi Deputy Minister Ahmed al-Shamma told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. Daily production was about 530,000 barrels last year because of damage to refineries, he said.

The nation, home to the world’s fifth-biggest oil reserves, is seeking foreign funding and expertise to help it boost exports needed for modernizing an economy stunted by years of conflict and sanctions. Crude production has suffered in recent years from insurgent attacks and insufficient spending.

“Output of our refineries is not meeting increasing demand for petroleum products,” al-Shamma said. “Cooperation with Japan is essential for the country to upgrade our industries, to acquire new technologies and to build up cultural relationship between the two nations.”

As part of the capacity increase, Iraq aims to build a 300,000 barrel-a-day refinery in southern Iraq, which will process crude oil from the Nasiriyah oil field for export from a port in the south, al-Shamma said.

Iraq may offer the construction of the refinery as a combined deal along with the contract to develop the Nasiriyah oil field, he said.

“This could be made as an incentive to develop the field and develop the refinery at the same time,” al-Shamma said. “This is not yet policy but it is in principle accepted by most of our colleagues in the ministry.”

(Source: Bloomberg)