Iraqi Oil Minister, Jabbar Al Luaibi, is revisiting a program announced four years ago to build four new refineries and has invited international oil companies to fund the construction of new facilities as the country looks to expand its downstream capacity, Oil and Gas 360 reported.
Iraq is offering either a build, own, operate or a build, operate, transfer contract model for new refineries, where the private sector constructs the facility, operates it, and eventually hands it over to the government, according to S&P Global Platts.
Al Luaibi stated that the ministry plans to double Iraq’s crude oil storage capacity to 24m barrels, through international investment. Although, the country has struggled to attract private investment after finally breaking with its tradition of state control over the oil industry, case in point is the Nassiriyah integrated project which includes the development of an oil field and a 300,000b/d refinery. The project has been offered in various forms to investors since 2008, but is still to find one. A bidding round, most recently scheduled for 2013, has been delayed indefinitely.
Iraq’s push to expand its downstream market comes as the country’s crude oil production stabilizes at just over 4mb/d, with exports reaching more than 3mb/d during August.