Iraq aims to tender four new refinery projects as it attempts to revive its stalled downstream expansion programme, according to a statement from the oil ministry.

The four new refineries with a combined capacity of 420,000 barrels a day (b/d) will be tendered under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-own-operate (BOO), which involve private companies funding the majority of the projects.

The new refinery programme includes:

  • Kirkuk refinery, northern Iraq: 150,000 b/d
  • Kut refinery, 160km southeast of Baghdad: 100,000 b/d
  • Samawah refinery, 280km southeast of Baghdad: 70,000 b/d
  • Basra refinery, southern Iraq: 100,000 b/d

Iraq’s previous refineries programme called for the construction of five new facilities in Karbala, Kirkuk, Missan, Mosul and Nasiriyah with an estimated total investment of $50bn.

Baghdad had planned to increase the country’s refining capacity to 1.45 million barrels a day (b/d) by the end of the decade, up from the current installed capacity of about 886,000 b/d.

Of these projects, where front-end engineering & design (feed) studies were awarded in 2008, only the Karbala refinery has entered the execution phase with the remaining schemes stalled due to conflict or lack of investment.

Iraq changed its laws in 2007 to allow foreign oil companies to build refineries and operate them over a 40-year period.