News | March 8, 2018

Total Interested In Building Nasiriyah Refinery

French super-major Total is reported to be interested in bidding to build the Nasiriyah oil refinery in Iraq, with an estimated future production of 150,000 bpd.

Other IOCs have expressed interest in tendering for the project, which remains open for companies bidding in their capacity as refiners only, according to Al Warid Hammood, director-general at Iraq’s Dhi Qar Oil Co. (DQOC), cited by Reuters.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil (MoO) announced the construction of the Nasiriyah crude oil depot in the Dhi Qar governorate in southern Iraq on its website on February 28.

The project was initially intended to be part of the Nassiriya Integrated Project (NIP), and thereby tied to the development of the oilfield of the same name. However, Iraq dropped the NIP in January 2018, with Baghdad declaring that it would rely on a newly formed state oil company to develop the Nassiriya oilfield. The MoO had spent more than six years pitching the two projects as a combined mega-project.

In October, the Ministry announced that PetroChina was interested in constructing the Nassiriya refinery, while Russia’s Lukoil had also been mentioned as a potential builder when it was still being presented as an integrated project last year. According to Hammood, newly formed DQOC has now taken over the development of the oifield. 

It currently produces 80,000-100,000 bpd, and there are plans to double production to 200,000 bpd within the next three years. However, NewsBase Intelligence (NBI) does not anticipate any significant growth in 2018.

Total already holds a 22.5% interest in the consortium operating the Halfaya oilfield in Iraq’s southern Missan province. It is also rumoured to be part of a consortium with PetroChina and Chevron that could take over the operation of the supergiant Majnoon oilfield near Basra following Shell’s departure from the asset. 

Iraq is seeking to attract US$100B worth of foreign direct investment to help revitalise its oil and petrochemical sectors and rebuild essential infrastructure after finally appearing to have won the battle with Islamic State militants.