Iraq seeks $ 20-bn investment for new oil refineries

Jun 26, 2010 02:00 AM

Iraqi Minister of Oil Hussein al-Shahristani said that his country is seeking $ 20 bn in investments to finance four new refineries.
"We have aspirations to develop the sector, we have plans to protect and encourage the investment environment and we hope to see the Iraqi and foreign private sector have a role in it," he said.

The government will offer investor incentives, such as deducting 5 % on the price of crude oil as compared to global prices, giving tax exemptions and providing land, the minister said. Iraq's refining capacity currently stands at 550,000 bpd.
The four new plants -- in Nassriya, Karbala, Missan and Kirkuk -- are expected to jointly boost that refining capacity by 740,000 bpd.

The Iraqi government, which relies heavily on oil exports for its revenue, hopes that foreign investment will eventually increase oil output to 12 mm bpd, up from the current 2.5 mm bpd.
Iraq's proven reserves stand at 115 bn barrels, the third largest in the world after Saudi Arabia andIran.

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