ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Oil Ministry announced on Sunday that the country has so far seen a rise in domestic production of gasoline and diesel this year when compared to 2018.
The current rate of gasoline production was 14.29 million liters per day, up from an average of 11.485 million liters in 2018, the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the increase was largely due to upgrades to production units at Iraqi refineries, some of which were rebuilt after being destroyed in terrorist attacks.
Diesel production this year averaged about 11.22 million liters per day, up from an estimated 7.83 million liters last year.
The statement quoted ministry spokesman Assim Jihad saying that this increase “contributes to cover a large part of the local need for citizens and the electricity sector,” referring to Iraq's reliance on gasoline or diesel-run generators to supplement much of residents' power needs.
On Tuesday, a fire broke out near the Baiji refinery but the Oil Ministry issued a statement clarifying that the plant was “operating normally and at its planned capacity.”
The section of the refinery near the fire is known as al-Sumoud and is located in Salahuddin province, some 230 kilometers north of Baghdad.
Islamic State militants occupied the region in 2014 following their emergence in Iraq. The group's fighters caused significant damage to the refinery before Iraqi forces liberated the area and retook the facility.
Earlier this week, Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati said that Iraq would "soon" complete preparations to start supplying her country with 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from the disputed province of Kirkuk.
Editing by John J. Catherine