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Iraq tries again in the downstream

Oft-promised upgrades and greenfield facilities are again making putative progress

Iraq’s vast hydrocarbons wealth and its ability to satisfy the energy needs of its citizens has long been a politically toxic disconnect. The severe power cuts that once again brought long-suffering residents of oil-rich Basra onto the streets in late June have regularly captured the headlines.  But a prolonged deficit in fuel provision is another flashpoint. Successive governments have failed to deliver on repeated promises to expand and upgrade the creaking refining sector. Baghdad has launched, relaunched and cancelled sufficient refining schemes—while setting and missing a string of capacity targets—over the past 15 years as to have squandered almost any credibility when pronouncing pu



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