19 July 2009 

Erbil, Kurdistan - Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani today inaugurated the first dispatch of oil from Khurmala through 40 kilometres of pipeline to a refinery in Erbil. 

The oil, which is being extracted by the KAR Oil & Gas Company, is sent to a central processing plant and then to the largest private sector refinery in the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq. The integrated process will result in the production of a variety of important oil products – including diesel, benzene, and kerosene – and will sharply increase the availability of fuel for vehicles and homes. 

The project has come online within only seven months, and has the capacity to handle 75,000 barrels per day.

Prime Minister Barzani hailed this achievement. “Over the past five years we have been able to transform plans and dreams into reality and production. Today we have become producers of energy, and we can provide for the fuel needs of our citizens,” he said. “These projects will benefit and serve the interests of all citizens in the Kurdistan Region and throughout Iraq.” 

The Prime Minister addressed the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad. “We have always been ready in the past, and we are ready and willing now to sit at the negotiating table with the federal government and talk with those who possess the will to solve these issues.” He added, “Our message is clear. The Kurdistan Regional Government is ready and hopeful that serious dialogue will resume with the federal government to solve the issues according to Constitutional principles and within a federal, democratic Iraq.” 

Former US Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, also attended the ceremony. He said, “Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, is rich and full of resources, but for a long time these were not used for the benefit of the people.” He concluded, “I am delighted to say that in this Region the government has been very enlightened. I congratulate the leadership of the government on this achievement.” 

Mr. Khalilzad noted that Prime Minister Barzani has been promoting fuel and electricity production for years and was pleased to see this effort come to fruition. 

The Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Ashti Hawrami, said, “We have set our policy to solve the electricity and fuel shortages in the Region, and we embarked upon integrated projects to supply gas to the Chamchamal and Erbil power plants. With respect to refineries, we have commissioned a 75,000 barrel per day refinery complex, supplied by oil from this Khurmala dome.” He continued, “Along with the production from three other projects, expected to be commissioned and operational within one to two years, we will meet all the fuel product needs of the Kurdistan Region.” 

Sheikh Baz Karim, Chief Executive and President of KAR Oil & Gas, said, “Under the previous Iraqi regimes, the Kurdistan Region was denied the possibility of creating a refining industry. Today we have created a refinery industry that will not only serve the people of the Kurdistan Region but will serve all Iraqis. This is the first step in relying on ourselves to secure the supply of oil products.” 


As per KRG's agreement with the Iraqi government and under the 2015 Budget Law


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