Iraq’s oil ministry this week signed an MoU with the UAE’s Middle East Services Company – an unknown firm – to build a 100,000 b/d “investment” refinery at Nasiriya in Dhi Qar province. The MoU gives the firm three months to complete an economic investment plan before a final contract is penned.

The ministry subsequently issued a clarification, adding that the bidders were actually a consortium consisting of three state Chinese firms – defense contractor Norinco, PowerChina and the Chinese Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp – along with the Emirati firm. Norinco is particularly notable given that its oil subsidiary, Zhenhua Oil, won Iraq’s first oil prepayment tender last month and has been expanding its upstream footprint in Iraq (MEES, 11 December 2020). (CONTINUED - 425 WORDS)