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The Iraqi Karbala refinery will reach its maximum production capacity by June, which will reduce the country's fuel import bill by more than $3 billion, according to an official source in the Ministry of Oil to the Eastern Economy.
The official indicated that the refinery is currently operating at about 60% of the total refining capacity of 140,000 barrels per day. When this percentage reaches 100%, it will reduce the import of gasoline and gas oil by more than half. "What preserves the foreign currency inside the country, so that the amount is invested in developing the refining sector by building the Maysan and Dhi Qar refineries."
According to the data of the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company "SOMO", issued last week, and reviewed by "East Economy", the value of imported oil derivatives jumped to $5.2 billion last year, up by 57.7% from 2021.
Iraq aims to get rid of the import of oil derivatives completely, and to reach self-sufficiency by 2025 through the development of the refining sector. The government has offered 5 refineries with a total capacity of more than 800 thousand barrels per day to foreign companies to invest in their development, which are "Nasiriyah" and "Maysan". , "Al-Faw", "Basra", and "Kirkuk", but the interest of foreign investors in submitting bids was less than expected under the pretext of large government support for fuel.
Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC, with an average of 4.5 million barrels per day, of which it exports about 3.4 million barrels, as the country relies on revenues from selling crude to cover about 95% of its expenditures.
On the other hand, Iraq imports the main oil derivatives, such as gasoline, gas oil and white oil. According to the “SOMO” company, more than 5 million tons of oil derivatives were imported last year, at a value of $5.3 billion, compared to 4.7 million tons, at a value of $3.3 billion, in 2021. Gasoline was the most imported, at a value of $3.8 billion, followed by gas oil with more from 1.2 billion.
In 2014, the Iraqi Oil Ministry signed an agreement with a consortium of South Korean companies led by Hyundai to establish the Karbala refinery at a cost of $6.5 billion. The refinery started trial production in October last year.
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