Iraq’s Battered Refining Sector Gets Rare Boost From Basra Upgrade Award

Iraq’s refineries failed to meet local demand even before the Baiji plant was shut during the IS onslaught. Iraq plans to boost gasoline by upgrading Basra refinery.

Iraq’s refineries have been processing around 400,000 b/d since Islamic State (IS) fighters first seized control of the Baiji refinery in June 2014, and news it has allegedly fallen under the Jihadist group’s control again this week could mean it will be out of action now indefinitely (see page 8).

The refinery has been severely damanged during fighting with IS, which has doggedly attacked Baiji since losing control last year and even if Iraqi forces were to retake Baiji it would still be months, if not years before the refinery comes back online again. Before Baiji fell into IS hands last year, Iraqi refineries were processing at around 600,000 b/d which was just below a record 640,000 b/d in October 2013 (see graph).


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