Swiss Firm Wins $6 Billion Iraq Oil Refinery Contract

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister says his country has signed a $6 billion contract with Swiss company Satarem to build and run an oil refinery in southern Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office announced the deal on his official website in a statement dated Thursday.

The project calls for Satarem to construct and operate a 150,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the southern province of Maysan, which borders Iran.

Iraq sits atop the world's fourth-largest proven reserves of conventional crude, with about 143.1 billion barrels, and oil revenues make up 95% of the country's budget. It lacks refining capacity to meet local demand for fuel.

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