Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani confirmed that the Karbala oil refinery, which opened yesterday, Saturday, will provide 70% of Iraq's need for oil products, and will provide billions of dollars to the state treasury.
Al-Sudani said in a speech during the opening ceremony, "The refinery represents a real strategic project implemented for the first time since the eighties of the last century in Iraq, and it was implemented in accordance with international standards related to the environment and the latest technology."
He added that the project will provide 60% to 70% of Iraq's need for oil products, which it used to import at around $3 billion annually.
The Iraqi Prime Minister stated that his country is classified as an oil country that produces more than 4.5 million barrels per day, but despite that it imports derivatives and oil products that cost billions of dollars.
Al-Sudani said, "Iraq must invest its wealth in an optimal investment that covers its needs, and be an influential and active country in the gas, oil and petrochemicals market," noting that this project is the largest in the field of refining oil derivatives that Iraq has witnessed in 4 decades.
"We aspire to contract with international companies to implement projects in all sectors, such as gas, petrochemicals and refineries, in Iraq or outside Iraq," he said.
For its part, the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister stated that the refinery operates with a production capacity of 140,000 barrels per day, and produces products according to the latest European specifications, and Iraq will need to import many crude derivatives.
A source at the refinery had told Reuters last January that commercial production would begin with an operational capacity of 60%, adding that Iraq aims to operate the refinery at full capacity by next July.
In the context, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Saturday that the country's average oil exports amounted to 3.255 million barrels per day last March.
And the Ministry of Oil stated – in a statement – that Iraq's revenues last March amounted to 7.4 billion dollars, with an average price per barrel of 73.37 dollars.