-- The Iraq oil ministry has told leaders in Karbala Province it will build a 140,000 barrels per day oil refinery.
The Voices of Iraq news agency reports construction dates have not been set, but the head of the provincial council announced the refinery will be built.
"The oil minister informed the provincial council during his visit to Karbala two days ago that the ministry agreed to build a large refinery in the province," Abdul-Al al-Yasseri said.
"The oil ministry announced the project tender and is waiting for bids by international companies," he said.
Iraq is in short supply of refined crude products, despite having the third-largest oil reserves in the world, 115 billion barrels. Refineries, like the rest of Iraq's oil sector, are besieged by regular attacks and a lack of electricity, as well as the effects of the war, U.N. sanctions and mismanagement under Saddam Hussein.
Iraq imports most of its transportation, heating and cooking fuel and exports about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. It produces about 2 million bpd.
The refinery in Karbala, southwest of Baghdad, will be built along the highway from Karbala to Najaf and would take four years and $1 billion, al-Yasseri said.