The Baiji refinery and the surge

In an excerpt from his new book, “Iraq and the Politics of Oil,” former U.S. oil official Gary Vogler narrates the high-stakes struggles over Iraq’s largest refinery.
The Baiji refinery and the surge
Dr. Ali al-Obaidi, then the director general, in the Baiji Oil Refinery on Feb. 7, 2010. (AYMAN OGHANNA/ Iraq Oil Report)

Editor's Note: As one of Iraq’s most important pieces of infrastructure, the Baiji refinery has suffered acutely from violence and corruption since 2003.

Before it went offline in June 2014, as the self-proclaimed Islamic State group rampaged through northern Iraq, it was a target.

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