ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Oil ministry on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its counterpart in Oman for the two countries to cooperate on the oil and gas sector.
“The MoU aims at studying the possibility of building a shared oil refinery in the Sultanate of Oman to process crude oil imported from Iraq,” said Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadban in a statement.
He added, “In addition to refining, it includes manufacturing, storing and marketing crude oil and oil products.”
According to Ghadban, the cooperation between the two nations would not be limited to trade, but would additionally include sharing scientific and technological research for both oil and gas.
Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, Oman’s minister of Oil and Gas, also emphasized the importance of the agreement, saying, ”We will work to improve our collaboration further to benefit both countries mutually.”
Iraq has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
On Tuesday, Iraq's Oil Ministry announced that the average daily oil exports for June fell from 3.572 million barrels per day (bpd) the previous month to the new total of 3.52 million bpd.
Related Article: Iraqi oil exports drop to 3.52 million bpd in June: Ministry
The United States’ continued economic embargos on Iran and the heightened tension between the two in recent months threaten to affect Iraq’s ability to export crude to the world market through the highly-traveled Strait of Hormuz. It is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world and links Middle Eastern crude producers to key markets in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and North America.
In recent months, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi claimed that Iraq could identify strategic alternative means if disputes between Washington and Tehran lead to the waterway's closure.
Editing by John J. Catherine