South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) is seeking to import 24 m barrels of oil a year from Iraq to boost its reserves, reported Reuters.

“As part of security of supply, SFF applied for an allocation with the Iraqi state-owned oil company SOMO and we are waiting for SOMO to respond,” SFF’s acting CEO Sibusiso Gamede said.

“We are looking at 2 m (barrels) per month, adding up to 24 m (barrels) a year,” he told Reuters.

According to BDLive an Iraqi diplomat in South Africa further revealed that SOMO was also deciding on two separate requests from private companies for a total of 24 m barrels of oil a year. This was both for refineries in South Africa and the SADC region.

All crude purchase requests are processed through Iraq’s state oil marketing firm, he explained, although SOMO has declined to comment on these news reports.

SADC, the Southern African Development Community, is made up of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic Of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The last time South Africa imported crude oil from Iraq was in 2003, just before Saddam Hussein was toppled.