Baghdad is pressing on with its plans for a new refinery at Karbala, despite Iraq’s financial and security woes, as it seeks to reduce reliance on light products imports. It also plans to boost crude and gasoline capacity at Basra refinery.

Iraq’s 140,000 b/d greenfield refinery project in Karbala province 120km south of Baghdad is taking shape, with the Korean engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract consortium securing a number of process licenses from US...