Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The implementation of an oil refinery project designed for 150,000 barrels of oil per day should start in the next 30 days, the Iraqi oil ministry said.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said the execution of a refinery project in eastern Maysan project should start within the next 30 days, according to a pledge made to the government. According to Luabi's ministry, if the contract isn't implemented in time, it would be cancelled.
According to the strategic plans laid out by the ministry, the Maysan refinery would handle 150,000 bpd and raise the production of all oil products for Iraq.
"It is worthy to say that the ministry of oil presented many projects of building refineries to be invested by the global companies in order to be self-sufficient of the oil products and export the surplus," the ministry said in a statement published Monday.
Iraq is one of the top producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, churning out around 4.4 million bpd. The ministry in November said the southern port at Basra exported an average of 3.9 million bpd, the highest capacity ever reached there. December exports averaged around 3.5 million bpd.
In December, London-listed oil and gas services company Petrofac secured a $160 million contract to help overhaul a southern Iraqi oil port for Basra Oil Co., known previously as South Oil Co.
The contract involves infrastructure that facilitates crude oil tankers waiting to load oil, more than 180 miles of new pipelines and a mile of associated hose infrastructure. To date, the company said it's facilitated the export of more than 2.2 billion barrels of oil for Iraq.
Southern port infrastructure carries nearly all of what Iraq produces in oil and natural gas. A pipeline from the north toward Turkey has a carrying capacity of 1 million barrels per day.
The ministry added during the weekend that dozens of international oil companies qualified, or were pre-qualified, to take part in a bid for contracts for "borderline onshore and offshore exploration blocks and fields."
The official bidding process begins in May.