Iraq is pinning its hopes on the under-construction $6bn, 140,000 b/d Karbala refinery to ease the drain of diesel and gasoline imports on state finances.

Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael says he expects the long-awaited project to “reduce import needs by 60%” when fully operational next year. The Ministry has accelerated work at the new refinery as global refining margins surged to record levels this year. (CONTINUED - 994 WORDS)