Isis fighters launch attack on key oil field in Northern Iraq

Jessica Morris
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They targeted the the Bai Hassan oil station (Source: Getty)

At least five workers were killed and major oil pumping was shut down after Islamic state militants attacked a gas facility and an oil field in Northern Iraq today.

Four employees were shot dead and two guards left critically injured after four gunmen stormed an AB2 gas compressor station in the early hours of this morning. They also planted explosive charges before escaping, about five of which detonated, Reuters reported.

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Elite counter-terrorism forces subsequently arrived and regained control of the facility, freeing 15 other employees who had survived by hiding in a separate room.

The Isis fighters are believed to have launched a similar assault at the Bai Hassan oil field. An oil engineer was killed, while five policemen were wounded.

Amaq news agency, which supports Islamic State, said Isis fighters were behind the Bai Hassan facility, but no one has yet claimed responsibility for the earlier attack.

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Bai Hassan was controlled by the Baghdad until it was seized by Kurdistan Regional Government forces in July 2014.

Energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie said the oil fields production peaked at 195,000 barrels per day in 2012, but its forecast was slashed to just 10,000 barrels last year.

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