From the Platt's news desk:
Kurdish forces took control of the Iraqi northern oil hub of Kirkuk on June 12 to protect the major oil field against advancing Sunni militants in a move that appeared to ease concerns over control of Kurdistan’s growing oil infrastructure.
Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC) headquarters in Kirkuk and the nearby Kirkuk oil field remains in government control, a senior NOC official said.
Armed groups allied to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, known as ISIS or ISIL, have attacked a number of oil facilities across the north of Iraq since Monday, including the 320,000 b/d Baiji refinery and Bai Hassan oil field.
ISIS took over the major city of Mosul in a two-day offensive ending Tuesday, followed by a push further into the Salahaddin, Kirkuk and Diyala provinces. But Kurdish peshmerga fighters said they have moved to halt the militants advance.
“We tightened our control of Kirkuk city and are awaiting orders to move toward the areas that are controlled by ISIL,” Brigadier General Shirko Rauf of the Kurdish peshmerga security forces told AFP.
The defensive moves means the militants are less likely to move further east to threaten oil fields being developed inside the semi-autonomous Kurdistan by foreign players.
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