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How jihadist advance is affecting Iraq's oil production

The Iraqi flag at a refinery for crude oil in Al-Dora complex in Baghdad on September 16, 2010Oil industry analysts said Wednesday the attack by jihadist militants on Iraq’s main Baiji refinery shows the growing impact they are having on the country’s stability, energy supplies and government revenues. The pre-dawn assault on the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses new questions about the security of the oil industry in Iraq, OPEC’s second biggest crude producer. Question: How are oil prices affected by the violence in Iraq? Even though the fighting has not yet reached the southern oilfields, which account for 90 percent of Iraq’s oil production, oil prices rose last week to their highest level for nine weeks ($114.69 per barrel for Brent crude) and investors are worried about the long-term prospects for Iraqi oil.

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