Security, crude supply needed for Baiji restart

Technical teams are to assess the damage to the refinery itself, but securing crude import and fuel export routes are crucial to bringing it back online.
Oil Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi tours the besieged Baiji refinery on Sept. 11, 2014, a day after formally taking office. (Source: Office of Adil Abd al-Mahdi)

KIRKUK - Government security forces and militia fighters have broken the five-month siege on Iraq's largest oil refinery, after a week-long campaign to retake the northern Iraqi town of Baiji from militants led by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

Yet the refinery will not be usable for at least several months, according to refinery personnel and officials from Iraq's state-run North Oil Company (NOC). Not only has the facility sustained damage that needs to be fully assessed, but key pipeline infrastructure necessary to the refinery's operation is still under the control of IS fighters.

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