Iraq has been pushing its aging refinery fleet hard this year to provide liquid fuel to power plants in order to compensate for a shortfall in gas supplies from neighboring Iran whilst minimizing pricey oil imports (MEES, 12 August).

Though domestic oil demand has been rising for years, Iraq has struggled to advance planned refineries amid low investor appetite. September’s long-delayed commissioning of the first 84,000 b/d phase of the $6bn, 140,000 b/d Karbala greenfield refinery was therefore a major development for the country, and the Oil Ministry is eying additional gains (MEES, 30 September). (CONTINUED - 1174 WORDS)