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Iraq To Cut Oil Product Imports By 25% As It Revamps Refineries

Baji refinery

Iraq aims to reduce its oil product imports by 25 percent as it is seeking to refurbish and restart oil refineries after it expelled ISIS from its territory, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said on Monday, without giving a timeline for that 25-percent import reduction.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, is adding more production units at refineries in the central and southern parts of the country and is producing more oil products from processing natural gas liquids, its Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi said in the ministry’s statement.

Iraq has recently restarted production units at the Seeniya, Hadeetha, Qayara, and Kirkuk refineries. The country is also seeking investment for refinery projects in Kirkuk, Maysan, Nasiriya, Faw, Anbar, and Nineveh.

In December last year, Iraq declared that the war with ISIS over—and now it’s seeking foreign investments in major projects that would help revive its economy, which has also been hurt by low oil prices.

Also in December, Iraq started to rebuild its largest oil refinery—the 300,000-bpd Baiji refinery complex north of Baghdad.

Iraq is looking to attract billions of U.S. dollars in its refinery sector, and recently offered a total of 18 investment opportunities in the chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, and refinery sectors. Iraq wants to attract investment mostly in the downstream, planning the construction of new refineries with different capacities, including one at the Al-Faw Port with a 300,000-bpd capacity. The other refinery projects are a 150,000-bpd refinery in the Anbar province and a new Al-Nasiriy refinery in Thi Qar province with a production capacity of 150,000 bpd.

At an investment conference on rebuilding Iraq, al-Luiebi said last month that the country needed US$4 billion worth of investments in the downstream. That investment is planned to raise Iraq’s refining capacity to 1.5 million bpd by 2021, of which 500,000 bpd would be exported, according to the minister.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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