FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2011
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Christine Campigotto | (703) 875-4357

USTDA AWARDS FIRST GRANT TO IRAQ TO SUPPORT REFINERY REHABILITATION

BASRA, IRAQ – USTDA announced its support for the continued modernization of the oil and gas sector in Iraq with a $502,798 grant to the South Refineries Company for a feasibility study on the rehabilitation of its Basra refinery. This grant marks a deepening relationship with Iraq to support its long-term economic development by signing the first grant the agency has ever provided directly to an Iraqi grantee.

"USTDA has been developing a relationship with the Iraqi public and private sectors over the past several years, and we are excited to take this next important step," stated USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. "The oil and gas sector holds great potential for partnership with the United States, and serves as a source of economic benefit for the people of Iraq."

The grant to the South Refineries Company is an example of the U.S. Government's continued support for Iraq's economic development under the auspices of the Strategic Framework Agreement. The Agreement, which is based on a mutual desire for cooperation, includes a commitment to promote the development of the Iraqi oil sector, including the rehabilitation of vital facilities.

To help facilitate South Refineries Company's major modernization of its Basra refinery, the study will assess the current condition of the refinery and outline the necessary engineering, equipment supply and construction efforts required to substantially modernize the refinery's operation. This rehabilitation will allow the country to realize greater economic benefit from its oil reserves, while supporting the Iraq Ministry of Oil's goal to reach a capacity of 12 million barrels per day production by 2020.

This grant complements past cooperation between USTDA and Iraq's oil and gas sector. Previously, USTDA supported the Iraq Oil Training Program, which brought together the U.S. public and private sectors to deliver the training to over 600 Iraqis on oil sector management and operations. Going forward, USTDA is continuing to support Iraq's economic development through the organization of a reverse trade mission that will bring Iraqi oil and gas sector representatives to the U.S. to explore state-of-the-art U.S. technologies and services that can assist Iraq to further increase its production capacity.

The feasibility study will be carried out by Louisiana-based Shaw Energy and Chemicals, Inc.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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