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Iraqi Kurdistan this week took a key step towards cementing its oil independence from Baghdad. Although local firms Kalak and Bazian have built 80,000 b/d and 34,000 b/d refineries respectively in recent years, the region’s downstreamincludes a sizeable and growing hodge-podge of inefficient smaller plants known as topping units. This has left the KRG partly reliant on Turkey and the rest of Iraq for final products, a reliance that led to products shortages last year as IS overran large areas of northern Iraq and took out the country’s largest refinery at Baiji.
On 15 September the KRG both called for the closure of most of these small, inefficient units and for the construction of three new 50-100,000 b/d refineries.
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