- Title: FILE: File footage shows Iraqi oil refinery, now under threat
- Date: 12th June 2014
- Summary: BAIJI REFINERY, BAIJI, IRAQ (FILE - 2011) REUTERS VARIOUS OF BLACK SMOKE RISING FROM FLARE AT OIL REFINERY SIGN READING (Arabic and English): "MINISTRY OF OIL NORTH REFINERIES CO." OIL REFINERY VARIOUS OF WORKERS AT OIL REFINERY FLARE OIL REFINERY BAIJI REFINERY, BAIJI, IRAQ (FILE - 2009) REUTERS OIL REFINERY VARIOUS OF FLARE ABOVE OIL REFINERY VARIOUS OF OIL REFINERY
- Embargoed: 27th June 2014 13:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Industry
- Reuters ID: LVA6XV86G9119Q0K1EUV7PJ669PB
- Story Text: Iraq's biggest oil refinery at Baiji remained under government control on Thursday (June 12) after Sunni rebels' offensive through northern Iraq, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said.
Luaibi said Iraq was not importing any additional fuel and that stored supplies of gasoline and diesel were good.
The country's crude oil exports from its southern terminal at Basra were running at an average 2.6-2.7 million barrels per day as of Wednesday, he said.
Militants from an al Qaeda splinter group, who seized Iraq's second biggest city of Mosul this week, advanced into the oil refinery town of Baiji on Wednesday, setting the court house and police station on fire.
Security officials said additional special forces troops were sent to secure energy installations in Baiji on Wednesday, including the refinery and a nearby major power stations.
Brent crude jumped more than $2 to over $112 a barrel on Thursday on worries that escalating violence in Iraq could disrupt oil supplies from the major OPEC exporter.
The Brent futures contract - an international benchmark sensitive to geopolitical turmoil - climbed $2.24 to $112.19 a barrel by 1013 GMT, its highest since early March. U.S. gained $1.83 to $106.23 a barrel.
An initially muted market response to news that Sunni rebels had overrun Iraq's second-largest city and moved in on its largest refinery at Baiji has given way to growing alarm as the al Qaeda splinter group appeared to make rapid advances toward the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad.
Concern that the Baghdad-controlled Iraqi army was disintegrating and could no longer secure key oil facilities was exacerbated when soldiers fled the major northern oil city of Kirkuk, leaving it in the hands of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
However, Iraq's main oil export facilities are in the largely Shi'ite areas in the south of the country, where al Qaeda-inspired groups enjoy little sympathy.
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