Iraq to supply Lebanon with more oil

The Lebanese energy minister said on Tuesday that Iraq agreed to increase the volume of heavy fuel oil exported annually to Lebanon by 50 percent to 1.5 million metric tons.

Walid Fayyad said in a statement that Iraq agreed to secure all of Lebanon’s needs of oil derivatives to operate power plants and ensure additional power supply during the summer.

Iraq also agreed to provide Lebanon with 2 million metric tons of crude annually. Lebanon received payment facilities for this deal for six months from the date of receipt “without incurring any financial interests and at a price that takes competitive international prices into account,” added the minister.

Since July 2021, Lebanon has been importing heavy fuel oil from Iraq to generate electricity from power plants, securing a daily power supply of about four hours, according to an agreement between the two parties.

Under the deal, Iraq provided the Lebanese government with fuel in exchange for healthcare services for Iraqi citizens. Lebanon then swaps the heavy fuel oil for gas oil that can be used at its power stations.

Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis amid a shortage of foreign reserves needed to import gas oil to operate power plants, leading to power rationing for about 20 hours daily, with most people relying on private generators and solar energy. ■

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