Iraq’s Oil Ministry asked foreign companies and investors to bid for a project to build and operate a 300,000b/d export-oriented refinery in Fao, near the southern city of Basra, according to Reuters.
As informed on Hellenic Shipping News, the ministry’s bidding documents provide for two investment models, build-own-operate and build-operate-transfer, which will be available until May 31. The bidding will close on August 1.
Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia. Its refining capacity was curtailed when the Islamic State overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014. The plant was recaptured by Iraqi forces in 2015, but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting.
The country’s production now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba in Basra.
Recently, Iraq announced it may seek to be exempted from the OPEC deal to reduce global supply in order to support crude prices and ask to boost its own output. According to the leader of the nation’s Shi’ite ruling coalition, Ammar al-Hakim, the sensitive circumstances of the fight against the Islamic State requires full access to oil income.