Middle East

Iraq’s biggest refinery falls into hands of Sunni extremists

Dubai: Tanker owners must prepare for alternative loading sites as Iraq descends into total chaos.

Iraq’s biggest oil refinery was seized by Sunni extremists on Wednesday. The battle in Baiji, 130 miles north of Baghdad, led to the first refinery to fall from government hands.

The refinery has the capacity to process 310,000 barrels of oil a day produced in northern Iraq, and provides refined products to 11 Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad, chiefly for domestic consumption, although some heads for export.

According to an advisory from the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, due to the destruction of oil pipelines in Iraq, there is no loading of oil in Basra at present. Possibly loading will resume next Tuesday.  [19/06/14]

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