Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, in a brief statement announced that oil wells number 177 and 183 of Kirkuk’s Bai Hasan oilfield were attacked on the early morning of 5 April, killing and wounding Oil Police members. The Ministry says firefighting teams from state-owned North Oil Company (NOC) managed to put down the fire at well 177 in “record time” while well 183 was still being extinguished. According to NOC officials speaking to Iraq Oil Report, the field’s 70,000 b/d production was not affected.

The attack comes after an uptick in so-called Islamic State (IS) activity in northern Iraq, especially in areas disputed between the federal government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. These areas have become a vacuum exploited by militants. Nightly attacks in Kirkuk on Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga checkpoints prompted Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to convene an extended evening security meeting on 2 May. (CONTINUED - 221 WORDS)