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Iraq’s southern oil infrastructure has so far been unaffected by violence further north: production and exports remain steady. Iraq’s largest refinery at Baiji remains in the hands of Iraq’s security forces, though ISIS jihadists control nearby territory, but the plant is currently out of action leading to products shortages.
Iraqi television showed footage of the 310,000 b/d Baiji refining complex with Iraqi security forces moving around freely inside the compound, which has been the scene of battles between the Iraqi armed forces and Sunni insurgents for the past week.
There have been conflicting reports in the past 10 days as to who is in control of Baiji, a vast complex that incorporates four separate refineries, a big paints factory and more than 70 storage tanks. Industry sources tell MEES that the Iraqi security forces guarding the compound were ordered to avoid damage to refinery infrastructure, where some damage was reported as Sunni fighters attempted to take the refinery. One crude oil storage tank and another slops tank was reported to have caught fire and some pipelines are believed to have been hit by bullets, one source familiar with the refinery’s operations says.
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