When Thamir al-Ghadhban took over in his most recent stint as Minister of Oil in October 2018, he called the rehabilitation and expansion of Iraq’s refining fleet a “very important issue” and ranked it as one of his top priorities (MEES, 12 April 2019). But a year and a half on, Baghdad has made very little progress.

Aside from the 70,000 b/d Salahuddin-1 unit rehabilitated last year (MEES, 26 July 2019), Iraq has failed to make substantial progress toward adding to the country’s insufficient 700,000 b/d refining capacity. Unsophisticated units mean 45% of output is fuel oil, leaving Iraq with a $2-3bn a year import bill for transport fuels. (CONTINUED - 333 WORDS)