New crude oil refinery set to begin operations in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraq, October 5, 2016

A new crude oil refinery is set to begin operations in the Kurdistan Region, bringing with it hopes of new job opportunities and a bolstered oil and gas sector.

Located northwest of Sulaimani city, the Dukan Refinery Crude Distillation Unit and Offsites was constructed by Czech Republic based Prokop Company and Technoexport.

The refinery was built to international standards and in line with safety and environmental standards, according to the facility’s management, who said they worked with Sulaimani governorate authorities to establish the project.

Ari Abdulwahid, the refinery’s director, told NRT on Monday that a delegation from Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had visited the facility in the last few months for a quality inspection.

“Some members from the Ministry of Natural Resources were there for three days during operations,” Abdulwahid said. “They noted our production.”

The refinery is expected to process crude oil into gasoline, kerosene, gas and fuel oil. The facility will refine 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the initial phase after production begins and increase to 60,000 bpd thereafter.

Gasoline production is expected to reach 1.2 million liters per day for the domestic market, which officials hope will help solve chronic shortages.

The new project is also expected to create 200 new jobs for locals and management says those will eventually increase to 500 positions as production increases

The MNR recognizes two privately held and operated refineries in the region.

The Kalak refinery near the city of Erbil is operated by Kurdish-owned Kar Group and produces 80,000 bpd. Another facility, the Bazian refinery, processes 40,000 bpd with a planned expansion to more than 125,000 bpd by 2018.

In May 2015, a Kurdish environmentalist has warned that there are 170 illegal oil refineries in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, which are a major source of pollution.

In November 2014 Kurdish regulators say are taking steps to clean up the Kurdish region’s oil and gas industry after years of lax regulation, announcing it will provide new laws for waste disposal and abandoned wells.