These Oil Wells in Iraq Have Been Burning For Months

Several wells in Iraq’s Qayyara oilfield continue to burn six weeks after the US-backed Iraqi forces ousted ISIS militants from the town as part of their push on the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, the oil ministry said on Wednesday. The militants torched oil wells in the region to help conceal their positions before fleeing ahead of the government advance into Qayyara, sending black smoke into the sky and oil pouring into main thoroughfares. Government efforts to put out the remaining oil fires are being hampered by ISIS shelling, and around nine of 15 wells were still ablaze, oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said.
The fires “are creating pollution and presenting serious health risks,” the UN refugee agency UNHCR said in an update on the Mosul region. “Efforts to quell the flames have been impeded reportedly by several attempted attacks by armed groups, which also threaten the safety and sustainability of returns,” UNHCR said, referring to refugees trying to move back to homes from which they fled when ISIS overran the northern Iraqi region in 2014. Its two main oilfields, Qayyara and Najma, used to produce up to 30,000 barrels per day of heavy crude before it fell under control of the ultra-hardline jihadists.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s