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Thursday, March 3, 2011     GET REAL

Iraq retains two U.S. firms to upgrade oil refinery

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government has approved the modernization of an oil refinery.


The Cabinet endorsed an $81 million contract to two U.S. companies for the upgrade of the Samawah refinery in the southern Iraqi province of Muthanna. The contractors were identified as Colorado Industrial Construction Services Co. and Veco Co., an affiliate of CH2M Hill.

Officials said the contract stipulated the installation of a refinery unit at Samawah that would produce 1,200 cubic meters of gasoline per day.

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Samawah was heavily damaged during the looting that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Iraq has sought to modernize its oil refinery capacity, eroded by poor maintenance under United Nations sanctions imposed on the former Saddam Hussein regime. The country has three major refineries that process about 350,000 barrels of oil per day.

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