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Insurgents bomb Bai Hassan oil field, exploiting security gaps

Kirkuk's oil fields lack adequate protection because so many security forces were removed in a government crackdown on corrupt units involved in smuggling.
The fire at Bai Hassan oil well no. 183 after a bomb detonated early May 5, 2021, as North Oil Company staff attempt to extinguish it. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

KIRKUK - Insurgents bombed two oil wells at Kirkuk's Bai Hassan field and killed at least one guard on Wednesday — the latest sign that energy infrastructure remains vulnerable as the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group increases the tempo and intensity of its attacks around northern Iraq.

In a dawn raid, militants attacked a guard post and detonated IEDs on wells number 177 and 183, according to an Oil Ministry statement, a Kirkuk security official, and an official with the state-run North Oil Company (NOC), which operates the field. One fire has already been put out, the NOC official said, and the field's recent production level of about 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) has not been affected.

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