Iraq’s oil ministry this week announced the restart of the 70,000 b/d Salahuddin-2 unit at the Baiji refining complex in northern Iraq, boosting the country’s effective refining capacity by around 10%.

The once-310,000 b/d Baiji complex – also called al-Samoud – was completely destroyed in 2014 by Islamic State militants leading to a sizeable drop in the country’s refined products output (see chart) and shortages across northern Iraq. The ministry managed to restore the 70,000 b/d Salahuddin-1 unit in 2018 (MEES, 14 September 2018), promising to bring the second crude distillation unit (CDU) online “within months”, but it has taken more than two years to bring Salahuddin-2 online. Baghdad now plans to restore the third and final unit, the 170,000 b/d Baiji North unit, bringing what was once Iraq’s largest refining complex back to pre-IS capacity. (CONTINUED - 746 WORDS)