After months of relative calm, Islamic State cells in northern Iraq are once again launching attacks on local energy infrastructure. Late last month, the 30,000 b/d Sininya refinery was struck by a rocket resulting in a temporary shutdown (MEES, 4 December). Days later, militants hit the 25,000 b/d Khabbaz oil field just kilometers away from Kirkuk (see map).

The attack hit two wells (33 & 44), and while it only caused a 2,000 b/d dip in output, work to extinguish the well fires took more than a week. This follows a slew of deadly attacks in recent weeks, including ten civilians killed in Salahuddin province in late November, as the Islamic State ratchets up its operations against energy infrastructure in northern Iraq. (CONTINUED - 729 WORDS)