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Substantial new refinery projects set for the Middle East

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) announced on April 20 that it has signed a deal with Oman Oil Company (OOC) to build refineries and petrochemical plants.

The cooperation agreement will pave the way for financing oil, gas and petrochemicals projects, exchange of industry expertise, as well as opening up new avenues of joint investment cooperation, both locally and internationally.

Khadem al Qubaisi, managing director of IPIC, and Ahmed Al Wihaibi, CEO of OOC, agreed the deal, although no specific projects have yet been detailed.

Elsewhere, it has been reported that Iran’s deputy oil minister, Mr Alireza Zeighami, has stated that the country’s Persian Gulf Star refinery, under construction in the southern city of Bandar Abbas, is approximately 40% complete.

Mr Zeighami said that Iran expects the first phase of the 120 000 bpd refinery to come on stream in the next two years. The Persian Gulf Star will be the first of Iran’s planned new refineries to start and its total output capacity will be 360 000 bpd.

The project forms part of a major initiative, as Iran seeks to build seven new refineries at a total cost of US$ 25.8 billion. Other planned facilities are Pars, Anahita, Hormoz, Khuzestan, Caspian and Shahriyar. At present, Iran relies on imports for as much as 40% of its gasoline needs because it lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic consumption.

The Persian Gulf Star is mostly privately owned, while 40% of its shares belong to the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distributing Company.

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