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Iraq: Government Controls Baiji Oil Refinery

FILE - A view of a damaged production unit after a bomb attack by militants at Baiji oil refinery, 180 kilometers north of Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 26, 2011.
Iraq's biggest oil refinery at Beiji remained under government control on Thursday, secured by Iraqi special forces, as Sunni rebels staged an offensive through northern Iraq, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said.

Luaibi said Iraq was not importing any additional fuel and that stored supplies of gasoline and diesel were good.

The country's crude oil exports from its southern terminal at Basra were running at an average 2.6-2.7 million barrels per day as of Wednesday, he said.

Militants from an al-Qaida splinter group, who seized Iraq's second biggest city of Mosul this week, advanced into the oil refinery town of Beiji on Wednesday, setting the courthouse and police station on fire.

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“Beiji refinery is totally secured by the special forces and operating normally now,” an official at the refinery said on Thursday.

Security officials said additional special forces troops were sent to secure energy installations in Beiji on Wednesday, including the refinery and nearby major power stations, which supply power to cities including Baghdad.