Iraq Doubles Capacity at Salahuddin-2 Refinery

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has doubled capacity at its Salahuddin-2 refinery, part of the Baiji complex, from 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 140,000 bpd.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said he plans to restore capacity at the plant to the 280,000 bpd level at which it was operating before it was damaged by the Islamic State group (IS).

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Oil)

The post Iraq Doubles Capacity at Salahuddin-2 Refinery first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Refineries: Continued Misalignment amid Investment Illusion

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Refining Industry - Continued Misalignment amid Investment Illusion

More than fifteen years ago a new refinery-specific law was promulgated and then the Ministry of Oil-MoO paid millions of dollars for commissioned international consulting firms to undertake Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) and feasibility studies for a number of new refineries configured to produce petroleum derivatives in compliance with Euro 4/5 standard.

Many tacit objectives stood behind the move: modernize the refining sector to address initially domestic supply-demand misalignment (import substitution) and then export the surplus (export promotion).

All that to introduce a vertical structural diversification along the value-chain of petroleum (desirable structural change) and the new refineries should, mostly, executed through private investment, national or foreign (privatizing the refining industry).

When the FEED and feasibility studies were done, MoO organized promotional events to attract private investors for these new modern refineries and throughout the years many of the refineries went for repeated offering.

At end 2020, none of those refineries materializes despite of the many and high valued incentives and exemptions offered by the related investment laws.  Surprisingly, the Ministry keeps déjà vu; reoffering and offering even more other new refineries for investment without any FEED or feasibility studies.

Recently, I published two-part essay written in Arabic, circulated widely and posted on many websites; the essay undertakes, in part one, comparative Gap Analysis, uses formal data, adheres to evidence-based approach and presents six facts (with Infographic) featuring the reality of the refining sector.

In part two, the essay argues that lack of planning, mismanagement, wrong policy orientation captured by private investment illusion and, possible, formidable "pressure interests" had contributed to this very serious failure of Iraq' oil policy that keeps costing the country dearly, annually. The essay presents some suggestions to remedy the situation.

This article is premised on the findings of the said essay; it also demonstrates that refinery gap manifests chronic local production-demand misalignment as outcome of the technological configuration of the outdated refineries. It calls for careful important distinction between two types of refinery gap analysis: aggregate and product-specific to avoid misleading interpretation and wrong policy recommendations.

The article argues further that private investment illusion-PII causes the country dearly, through dual-capturing effects, due to delay in resolving refinery gap. All charts are based on formal monthly data retrieved from different credible sources and compiled tabulated and produced by this author.

Click here to download the full report in pdf format.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq's Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad's biography here.

The post Iraqi Refineries: Continued Misalignment amid Investment Illusion first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq Pushes Faw Refinery Project

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has invited international companies to participate in the competition to implement the Faw Refinery Project in Basra.

The project will be offered on a BOO (Build, Own, Operate) or BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) basis.

Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said the refinery will be environmentally friendly and in conformity with international standards (EURO 5), adding that a petrochemical complex will be added to the project in the future.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The post Iraq Pushes Faw Refinery Project first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Iraq to Expand Haditha Refinery

By John Lee.

Iraq's Minister of Oil, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismael, has laid the foundation stone for a new 20,000-barrel-per-day production unit at Haditha Refinery, in Anbar province.

The new unit will increase production at the plant to 36,000 barrels per day.

The General Director of the North Refineries Company (NRC), Qassem Abdel Rahman, said the company will invite international companies to add additional capacity of 35,000 bpd.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

The post Iraq to Expand Haditha Refinery first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Cabinet commits resources to Dhi Qar province

The Iraqi Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting in the city Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province on Monday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the people of Dhi Qar had sacrificed much for Iraq, but they have suffered from the consequences of past marginalisation. He affirmed that this government is determined to address the challenges facing the province.

Following discussions, the Cabinet approved several measures to improve services and boost investment in Dhi Qar, including:

  • Establish Dhi Qar Reconstruction Council to oversee the implementation of key projects in the province
  • Establish a working group to review all delayed and incomplete projects in Dhi Qar to ensure that work on these projects is resumed, giving a priority to projects that have direct impact on the lives of citizens. The working group will be chaired by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, with the membership of the Governor of Dhi Qar, the Deputy Minister of Planning, the Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Municipalities, and representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Electricity, Oil and Education
  • Grant the Governor of Dhi Qar the necessary powers to oversee the construction of new roads, rehabilitation of water purification plants, and the rehabilitation and maintenance of hospitals and health centres
  • Direct the Ministry of Oil to allocate 500 million dinars annually to the Heart Centre in Dhi Qar and to the local Health Department
  • Direct the Ministry of Communications to allocate 10 billion dinars to Dhi Qar
  • Direct the Ministry of Health to provide hospitals in the province with medical equipment and supplies
  • Direct the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research to follow up on the progress of Al-Shatra University Project which was established in 2013
  • Direct the Agricultural Bank, the Housing Fund and the Industrial Bank to simplify the procedures for granting loans to the people of Dhi Qar because of the exceptional circumstances facing the province
  • Expedite the completion of Dhi Qar Industrial City and Dhi Qar Refinery
  • Expedite the construction of school buildings and hospitals with a high completion rate

The Cabinet also approved several technical and administrative measures related to Dhi Qar aimed at delivering tangible and rapid improvement across a number of key public services.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

The post Cabinet commits resources to Dhi Qar province first appeared on Iraq Business News.

JGC signs Contract for Basra Refinery Upgrade

By John Lee.

Yesterday (Thursday), the South Refineries Company (SRC) and Iraq's Ministry of Oil (MOO) signed the contract with Japan's JGC Corporation to start construction of a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Complex at Basrah Refinery.

The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s ODA (Official Development Assistance) loan project.

The contract ceremony was successfully held at the Governmental Palace with the presence of H.E. Mr. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismael, Minister of Oil, H.E. Dr. Eng. Khaled Battal Najim Abdullah Al-Jujifi, Minister of Planning, Mr. Husam Hussein Weli, Director General, SRC, Mr. Shu Nakagawa, Charge d'Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in Iraq, Mr. Yutaka Yamazaki, President of JGC Corporation, and Mr. Kei Toyama, Chief Representative of JICA Iraq Office.  At the sideline of the ceremony, H.E. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi hosted the meeting with the participants.

For this project named "Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project (I)(II)", JICA has so far concluded three loan agreements for:

  1. engineering services loan in the amount of JPY 2,079 million [$20 million];
  2. first tranche loan in the amount of JPY 42,435 million [$403 million]; and,
  3. second tranche loan of JPY 110,000 million [$1.04 billion].

This project is the largest Japanese ODA loan project in Iraq. Under the assistance of JICA's concessional loans (low interest rate at 0.20% and the repayment period of 40 years including 10-year grace period). It is expected to be completed in 2025.

According to a statement from JICA, the project to construct Iraq's first-ever FCC Complex will unleash the potential of Iraq's refining sector to produce the larger volume of the high-value outputs, promote the transfer of refining technologies from Japan and help save valuable foreign currencies to import huge amount of fuels.

It says the new plant will also reduce sulfur content in the oil products in accordance with the international environmental standards, adding:

"The project is expected to pave the way for energizing private sector involvement in the downstream of Iraq's energy industry and provide economic and employment opportunities for the people of Iraq, especially in Basrah.

"JICA looks forward to the collaborative efforts made by Iraqi government and the contractor to overcome every challenge to be encountered during project implementation, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  JICA reaffirms its commitment to making every possible means to support in delivering the project benefits and realizing its effectiveness."

(Source: JICA)

The post JGC signs Contract for Basra Refinery Upgrade first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Eni to Invest $4bn in Iraqi Refinery?

By John Lee.

Italian oil company ENI is reported to be in talks to build a $4-billion, 300,000-bpd refinery near Iraq's Zubair oil field.

S&P Global quotes Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael [Ahsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail] as saying that that the first phase, with a capacity of 150,000 bpd, would be operational by 2025.

The Minster reportedly added that the Zubair field, in which Eni holds a stake, is expected to produce 700,000 bpd by 2027.

Click here to read the full article.

(Source: S&P Global)

The post Eni to Invest bn in Iraqi Refinery? first appeared on Iraq Business News.