Foster Wheeler wins deal to design Iraq refinery
April 6, 2009
Reuters reports that Iraq has signed a $128 million contract with Foster Wheeler to draw final engineering designs for a 300,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in its south, the deputy oil minister said. Ahmad al-Shammaa said the design contract did not necessarily give the U.S. engineering company an advantage when it came to bidding for the contract to build the refinery in Nassiriya, 300 km (185 miles) south of Baghdad. Iraq is moving ahead with plans to build or revamp a number of refineries as part of an effort to revive its crumbling oil infrastructure after decades of war, sanctions and neglect. He added that Iraq also signed a 68.4 million euro ($90 million) deal with Italy''s Nuovo Pignone, a General Electric subsidiary, to install a gas processing unit in West Qurna, a super giant oil field in the south. Iraq has said it plans to boost refining capacity by 840,000 bpd as part of a $50 billion plan to overhaul the energy industry and boost production. It has only this year reached a stage where it is refining enough gasoline for its own domestic transport purposes, despite sitting on the world''s third largest reserves. Iraq sits atop some 116 billion barrels of oil, the world''s third largest reserves after Saudi Arabia and Iran, but it needs billions of dollars of investment to overhaul its oil sector.