Iraq calls for bids for new oil refinery

refinery rongybenjamin flickrIraq is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, according to reports. (Image source: Rongy benjamin/Flickr) Iraq’s Oil Ministry has asked foreign companies and investors to bid for a project to build and operate a 300,000 bpd export-oriented refinery in Fao near Basra

Bidding documents provide for two investment models – build-own-operate and build-operate-transfer, said the Ministry in a statement, according to Reuters.

They will be available until 31 May and the bidding will close on 1 August, it said.

OPEC’s second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, Iraq’s refining capacity was curtailed when Islamic State overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014.

Iraqi forces recaptured it in 2015 but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting.

The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba refinery in Basra.

Meanwhile, Iraqi fuel oil exports have soared since January despite a reduction in the country’s crude production in line with OPEC supply cuts, industry sources said, in what could be a way to boost output of refined products and maintain oil revenues.

Iraq on average exported between 80,000 and 160,000 tonnes of fuel oil per month in 2016, data collected by Thomson Reuters Oil Research showed.

But volumes sold to Asia have jumped this year, with Iraq’s global exports of fuel oil reaching more than 500,000 tonnes in March alone, according to Reuters data.

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