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UPDATE: Civil unrest raises risks for oil sector

As political crisis and escalating violence threaten the stability of the state, followers of Sadr have also started protests at some oil fields.
Protesters aligned with Muqtada al-Sadr block a road in the al-Ashar area in the city center of Basra on Aug. 29, 2022. (JASSIM AL-JABIRI/Iraq Oil Report)

UPDATE: Muqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday gave a speech condemning Monday’s violence and ordering his followers to stop even the peaceful protests that he had earlier ordered. Sadr’s followers appeared to obey immediately, stopping their assault on parts of the Green Zone and withdrawing from key sites like the Iraqi Parliament building. Multiple security and oil officials in Basra confirmed that protests also ended at oil and commercial sites around the province, including West Qurna 1, Zubair, Majnoon, the Shuaiba refinery, the Um Qasr port, and Basra International Airport. While Sadr’s speech appears to have succeeded in bringing Iraq back from the brink of spiraling civil violence, the political dynamics that caused Monday’s crisis remain entirely unresolved.

BASRA - Political chaos and violence are threatening to disrupt Iraq's energy sector as followers of Muqtada al-Sadr stage escalating protests in both Baghdad and the southern oil heartland.

In addition to occupying government buildings and public spaces across several cities, protesters aligned with Sadr shut down roads leading to oil fields, commercial installations, and the Basra airport on Monday, according to protesters and security and oil officials. There is no indication that oil production has been affected so far.

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