Help identify an Iraq refinery medal

A 1968-dated medal featuring an Iraqi oil refinery has left one Canadian dealer with some questions.

The government-run Dora Refinery is located just east of al-Dora (also known as Daura or Doura) in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Once the centre of the Iraq War, the neighbourhood made headlines as “the most dangerous place in Iraq” during the nearly decade-long conflict that ended in 2011 (and the danger persists with one deadly bombing reported as recently as this August).


The Dora Refinery – managed by Iraq’s Midland Refineries Company, one of more than 20 companies affiliated with the government’s Ministry of Oil – is depicted on the aforementioned medal owned by dealer Nick Cowan.

On one side, the top of the medal features the date “1968” above the name “Snamprogetti” in a box. In the centre is the phrase “Ministry of Oil and Minerals,” with “New Lube Oil Plant Daura Iraq” around the edge.

The opposite side depicts the refinery, which was built in 1953 and began operating in 1955.

Cowan, who’s the owner of The Coin Collector, in Ajax, Ont., recently acquired the medal as part of an estate sale. He’s now reaching out to the collecting community for more information about the piece.

Email if you can shine some light.

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