Iraq OKs Construction of Two New Oil RefineriesBy Wisam Mohammed
Iraq's cabinet has approved the construction of two new oil refineries with a total capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, Iraq's Oil Ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
One of the refineries is to be located in northern Kirkuk province and the other in southern Maysan province, spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters, adding that both had a capacity of 150,000 bpd.
A company has already been chosen to build the Kirkuk refinery, but Jihad declined to name the firm. A company has not yet been chosen to build the Maysan plant.
Firms had also not been chosen for two previously announced refineries -- one 300,000 bpd plant in Nassiriya province and the other a 150,000 bpd plant in Kerbala, both in Iraq's south.
All are open to foreign investment in partnership with the Iraqi government, except the Nassiriya refinery which is open to full foreign investment.
"These steps will satisfy our oil product needs," Jihad said, adding that some of the refineries' output are earmarked for export to neighboring countries.
Iraq has a severe shortage of motor fuel, despite sitting on the world's third-largest proven reserves of oil. Existing refineries have suffered from years of sanctions, under-investment and insurgent attacks.
( Reuters )