Iran has started work on an upgrade to its largest refinery. Korea has already stumped up $12bn of downstream funding; this time it’s China’s turn to pay.

Iran’s state refiner NIORDC on 6 February began preparatory work for a $2.7bn upgrade of the aging Abadan refinery in the country’s southwestern oil heartland which will reduce fuel oil output while raising gasoline and gasoil production.

Iran aims to hike its crude and condensate processing from the current...