HADITHA, Iraq --
The K3 Oil Refinery opened July 18 and is ready to pump life into the city of Haditha and Anbar province, Iraq.
“The refinery is going to help the western region (of Iraq),” said Col. Mohammad Hussein Al Shofer, Iraqi Provisional Security Forces. “Marines have really been supportive in the project.”
Some of the support the Iraqi people received was courtesy of Marines with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5. The company has provided security for the project during the last three months.
”The opening of the K3 Oil Refinery is one of many tangible achievements that local leaders can point to while reaching toward the ultimate goal of stability,” said 1st Lt. Christopher Doty, 24, platoon commander, Mobile Assault Platoon, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, who is from Longwood, Fla. “This wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of Coalition forces and local (Iraqi Security Forces) to provide the ground work of security that will allow this refinery to reach its full potential.”
The combined effort of Marines and the Iraqi government has yielded great results. The refinery has the capacity to process 16,000 barrels of oil per day and will provide many jobs for local Iraqis.
“Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Marines we wouldn’t have a drop of oil in the area,” said Sheik Said Flaieh Ujman Ali, a sheik in Haditha. “It’s because of them that we are here today. Everybody in the whole district is very happy.”
Although, the local populace in the area will benefit the most from the refinery, Ma’moun Sami Rashid, the governor of the Al Anbar Province, stated that the refinery will help all of Iraq.
“Whatever production we make in this area will be for Iraq, the citizens in Iraq and this district,” Ma’moon said.
To see the refinery operational was a highlight for 3rd Bn., 4th Marines as they continue their deployment in Anbar province.
“The refinery has been a focal point for our company throughout the deployment,” said Cpl. Ian Anderson, 27, a team leader with Company K, who is from Gig Harbor, Wash. “With so many high-level Iraqis attending, it was exciting to participate in its opening.”