Iraq’s downstream expansion to cost $4 billion

Iraq’s plans to boost its downstream sector would cost roughly $4 billion in new investments, the country’s oil minister Jabar Al-Luaibi said Tuesday at a conference in Kuwait.

 The war-torn Middle Eastern country aims to boost its refining capacity to 1.5 million barrels per day (MMBPD) by 2021, exporting some 500,000 barrels per day of that volume. This could be reached through seven greenfield and brownfield projects, Kallanish Energy learns.

Al-Luaibi said some of these would be turnkey projects with contractors handing over facilities to Iraq, while others would be build-operate-transfer deals in which private companies receive concession to operate refineries.

The official has recently announced deals with two Chinese investors, as well as a Kurdish company to develop refining projects in the country. Other projects are expected to be announced.

Iraq, the second-largest crude oil producer in OPEC, also plans to increase its oil production capacity to 7 MMBPD by 2022, from 5 MMBPD currently, Al-Luaibi said.

On Tuesday, the ministry said the railway transportation of oil products has been resumed, with the railway network now transporting and unloading cargoes from the Doura refinery in Baghdah to the province of Basra. The last time this was done was in 2003.

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