Major oil producing country to cut imports of petroleum products

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Iraq is planning to halt imports of petroleum products as soon as in 2024 after launching a number of oil refineries, which were stalled during decades of military conflict, according to Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad, as cited by RIA Novosti.

The Middle Eastern nation has been purchasing oil products, such as reformulated gasoline, from international markets to compensate for energy shortages.

“In 2024, Iraq will rely on domestic production more, and after a number of refineries start production, there will be a reduction in the volume of petroleum product imports until they are completely ceased,” the official said.

In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani said the authorities had set a deadline of January 2024 for international energy companies to submit formal letters of intent to take part in new licensing rounds.

Earlier, the prime minister stated that the government was working to improve the production capacities of oil refineries across the country to completely eliminate imports of petroleum products.

Despite its immense oil and gas reserves, Iraq, the world’s fifth largest oil producer, has remained dependent on imports to meet demand. Ravaged by decades of conflict, the country’s crumbling infrastructure and endemic corruption have obstructed reconstruction efforts.

Earlier this week, the energy authorities reported over $97 billion in 2023 oil revenues – a decline compared to 2022’s record-setting $115 billion.

Iraq sold over 108 million barrels of oil in December alone, averaging 3.4 million barrels per day at an average rate of around $77 per barrel. The sales brought in a total revenue of $8.3 million for the last month of 2023.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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