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Iraqi downstream dreams edge closer to reality

Refining and petrochemicals development may finally be gathering momentum

Baghdad has developed an unenviable reputation for a gulf between downstream promises and reality. For some 13 years, successive governments have announced—and often re-announced—an array of greenfield refining projects, yet only a single new facility is ­under ­construction. Even that is running more than five years behind schedule. In petchems, majors expressed interest as far back as the early years of last decade, before domestic consumption took priority over feedstock in allocating scarce gas supplies International investors have been unwilling—due to a combination of persistent political instability and oil prices that have never fully recovered from their 2014 slump—to make the mul

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