New Oil Refinery in Karbala to be built in 2021
Iraq plans to ramp up its refining capacity by more than 80,000 b/d in 2021, oil minister Ihsan Ismaael said Feb. 8, as OPEC's second largest producer seeks to lower dependence on oil product imports, Spglobal.com reported.
The new increments in capacity will come from southern refineries, Ismaael said in a statement.
He didn't disclose the country's current refining capacity. Ministry officials weren't immediately available to comment on the refining capacity.
The ministry signed in January an initial agreement with a consortium that includes China's Norinco, Power China and CNEC to build a 100,000 b/d refinery in Dhi Qar governorate in the south. The country is also building a greenfield 140,000 b/d refinery in Karbala.
Iraq plans to invite international oil companies to help build a 300,000 b/d refinery in the south of the country, Ismaael said Nov. 18. The facility will be offered under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) investment model. A petrochemical facility could be integrated with the refinery at a later stage, he added at the time.
Iraq continues to import gasoline and gasoil to fulfill its domestic needs as much of its existing refining capacity is old and dilapidated or still being rehabilitated.
In January, Iraq pumped 3.82 million b/d of crude, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC+ survey, below its 3.857 million b/d quota.