Explosive devices spark fires in two oil wells near Kirkuk

Oil production was not affected by the fires in Bai Hassan oil field, a security source said.
Bai Hassan Oil field near Kirkuk. (Photo: Archive)
Bai Hassan Oil field near Kirkuk. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A local security source said on Saturday that fires broke out in two oil wells in a small field near Kirkuk after explosive devices were detonated nearby.

The double bombing took place in wells No. 154 and 159 in the Bai Hassan field, which is run by the state-owned North Oil Company, outside the oil-rich town of Debs.

The source told Kurdistan 24 that the explosion took place on Friday night and firefighting teams dispatched to the scene had extinguished the fire.

He added that the explosive devices were placed far from the oil wells, and that the fires were not major and had been easily controlled.

"There was no damage and oil production and export were not affected," he said.

The Bai Hassan oil field, which includes more than 120 oil wells, produces about 200,000 barrels per day.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Islamic State had previously launched similar attacks on oil pipelines and the electricity network in Kirkuk and other disputed territories.

After the loss of its territorial claims in Iraq in late 2017, the Islamic State group has seen various periods of resurgence. Its fighters have been particularly active in vulnerable tracts of inhospitable land located in or around territories disputed between the federal Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly