RIO DE JANEIRO, April 8 Iraq's government on
Wednesday invited Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras
(PETR4.SA)(PBR.N) to build an oil refinery with a daily
capacity of up to 200,000 barrels in the Middle Eastern
Brazil and Iraq have created commissions to discuss the
project that could include oil exploration and production, said
Iraqi Planning Minister Ali Baban.
"They (Petrobras) said they would consider the proposal
seriously," Baban told reporters after a meeting with
businessmen in Rio de Janeiro. The invitation was extended to
Iraq's current daily oil output totals 2.4 million barrels.
Domestic consumption is at 500,000 barrels per day and the
remainder is exported, Baban said.
"We need a refinery for all kinds of byproducts, mainly
gasoline," he added.
The global crisis and internal conflicts in Iraq could be
hurdles for the project, Baban said, but he added that local
huge reserves and low extraction costs are attractive for
international companies to invest in the country.
The cost to extract oil in Iraq is at between $3 and $5 per
barrel, Baban said. Total oil reserves in Iraq are estimated at
180 billion barrels, most of them onshore.
Petrobras President Jose Sergio Gabrielli said later that
the company would study the proposal. Petrobras used to produce
oil in Iraq in the 1970s, but had to return the fields.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Translated by Inae Riveras;
Editing by Christian Wiessner)