Al Qaeda Insurgents Surround Iraq's Largest Refinery

Tyler Durden's picture

While there had been sporadic reports over the past few days that Al Qaeda's ISIS spinoff had surrounded or even taken control of Iraq's largest refinery in Baiji, the government was quick to deny such rumors. As was reported earlier, the Baiji refinery remained under government control on Thursday after Sunni rebels' 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.

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


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

It may be time to hit F5, because a few short hours later, and moments ago, Reuters reported that the Baiji refinery appears set to fall in Al Qaeda's hands.

Insurgents surrounded Iraq's largest refinery in the northern town of Baiji on Thursday, police and an engineer inside said.


Sunni militants first moved into Baiji late on Tuesday, closing in on the refinery, but later withdrew to the surrounding villages after reaching a deal with local tribal chiefs.


A witness who lives in a house near the refinery said the militants arrived in more than 50 vehicles.

Here is a quick snapshot of the refinery's capacity:

North Refineries Co. of Iraq named Honeywell the main engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for an upgrade of automation systems at its 310,000-b/d hydroskimming and hydrocracking refinery in Baiji. Honeywell will fully automate the refinery, replacing a 30-year-old single-loop instrument control system. The contractor said the project, in addition to improving productivity, will offer “full scalability to support future technology upgrades.”


Built in 1982, the Baiji refinery has these processing capacities: catalytic reforming 46,000 b/d, catalytic hydrocracking 38,000 b/d, and catalytic hydrotreating 182,000 b/d. It has design capacity to produce 64 MMcfd of hydrogen, 5,000 b/d of lube oils, and 26,000 b/d of asphalt.

Photos from the ground:

A view of a damaged production unit after a bomb attack at Baiji oil refinery, some 200km north of Baghdad.

And an aerial view.

So with the Al Qaeda spin off, now armed with the latest US weapons and with nearly half a billion in petty cash courtesy of yesterday's Mosul raid, the insurgents are about to have direct control over several hundred thousands b/d of energy output.

All they need is a central bank. We are confident Goldman can spare a partner to run it.

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So Close's picture

Going Kinetic in 3,2,1...

Pinto Currency's picture


Life is good now that Iraq has been liberated.

Headbanger's picture

Better yet.   Let's liberate all of them completely and nuke the whole fucking place!

AlaricBalth's picture

Continued unrest and sectarian violence in the Middle East.  Mission definitely accomplished!!!

Say What Again's picture

Shouldn't the stocks of defense companies be rallying on this news?

BaBaBouy's picture

WHERE The Fuck Are All The GWB Fans Now...

Anyone Remember The Iraqi Invasion Warnings, Huh???

""YOU BREAK IT, YOU OWN IT, Bitchez...""

CrazyCooter's picture

You know, now that you bring it up, I am not sure there is a large, or even significant, group of GWB fans that frequent ZH.

Perhaps if you posted over on Politico or TheHill you would get a better roll call.



Jugdish787's picture

I think there is a small contigent of former Bush fans, those who cheered for the red team in their past.  


oddjob's picture

Probably just sympathetic cokeheads.

tarsubil's picture

I cheered for the Bush wars. Talked about how we were the good guys. Did a bunch of other crap that I'm not proud of. Ultimately, I started to question Bush and the neo cons threw me out. They really are like blood thirsty nazis.

Analyse2's picture

The Bush regime lied and fabricated "evidence" that was used to deceive Congress, the American people, and the United Nations. 

At the time that these absurd claims were being made, only experts knew that they were false but today everyone knows that the claims were lies.

I wonder why everyone has forgotten how much hate FRANCE got for NOT wanting to contribute in the Irak war.

The whole dumbass "LIBERTY FRIES" , the “cheese-eating surrender MONKEYS”  things   all kind of silly jokes still continuing, even in ZH …. Five years of Anti-French slander and vilification was thus thrust by the White House, the administration, members of Congress, governors and by lackeys in the media (like Fox News or Murdoch Press).

cifo's picture

"the militants arrived in more than 50 vehicles."

50 Humvees, more specifically.

Headbanger's picture

Seriously.  Let's do the moral thing and send em all to Allah and the virgins and snow white camels and what ever else they want in the after life by immolating all of them with a few nukes.

Besides, all you "greenies" will like the fact that nukes don't produce harmful CO2 emissions like all those noisy jets and drones and tanks.. And it will help reduce the global carbon foot print.

Plus you won't have to anguish about American troops being killed.

And when Iraq cools down after 30 to 40 years, we can use it a a nuclear waste dump sight.

CrazyCooter's picture

No can do; the spice must flow.



Urban Redneck's picture

Toxic fuel "additives" will never stop the spice flow, just ask Thomas Midgley.

Anusocracy's picture

Washington, DC is the one place that needs to be turned into a breeding ground for Radioactively Modified Organisms.

The rest of the world is a victim of that shithole.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It's a Sunni Muslims vs Shiia Muslims religio-ethnic war.  Let 'em duke it out, and we deal with the winner.

When do we get a Tribe vs Tribe holy war?  (All I see, hear or read about is Christians vs Christians, Muslims vs Muslims, Christians vs Muslims.)  Tell me ZHers, who's sitting back, counting their money and laughing their ass off?  Anyone, anyone?  Buehler?  Anyone?

rubiconsolutions's picture

".....and nuke the whole fucking place!"

Sure. Because nuclear fallout always obeys borders and would never spread beyond Iraq.

See: Fukushima

Agent P's picture

No, we have smart nukes now.  The fallout stays within predefined borders and the blast only kills bad guys without harming civilians. 

rubiconsolutions's picture

Okay, my bad. I didn't catch that when I last read Jane's. 

Headbanger's picture


The fallout from nuclear bomb is much much less than from a reactor meltdown like Fukishima and Chernobyl because bombs have tiny amounts of radioactive fuel compared to reactors.


so...  Bomb, bomb bomb... Bomb bomb Iraq!!

rubiconsolutions's picture

I stand corrected. Then by all means, drop as many as possible Mr. McCain. By the way, did you ever learn to land an airplane the right way?

Headbanger's picture

Land??  Waddya mean "land an airplane"??

What for?

That's what ejection seats and parachutes are for.


svayambhu108's picture
DannoH's picture

"Liberate? You mean Liquidate?"

"Lets watch that film on blinding techniques then grab lunch, shall we?"

astoriajoe's picture

Nice reference. Seemed crazy when it came out. Now it seems spot-on.

kchrisc's picture

Won't happen, as CIA-Obama would have to be ordered by his CIA handlers to bomb the CIA's 'terrorists.' Isn't going to happen.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Now events in Iraq might actually start to matter...

PlusTic's picture

Have no fear, Academi (Blackwater) is there!

Freddie's picture

Xe, Academi, Blackwater, Booz Allen - whatever they are called today. The Devil Douchebag Boys sounds good.  Nudelman can lead the charge with McCain and Miss Linda Graham-nesty.

tony wilson's picture

Xe, Academi, Blackwater, Booz Allen - whatever

are those the usa heroes that had them hazing parties in afghanistan.

bush and obarmy say when something goes wrong these are not american values this is not who we are.

this is not how we roll.

no drinking vodka from butt cracks is how they roll

American Dreams's picture

Thanks for posting Tony.  Ever sit through Kay Griggs interview, puts a bit more color on what is being shown in these pics.  Kay was the wife to Colonel George Griggs for many years and has told one hel of a story for those so inclined to listen. 

Know your enemy


Dr. Engali's picture

Would that be Al-CIA-Duh or the other more scary Al-Qaeda franchise?

Winston Churchill's picture

"What difference,at this point,does it make ?".

corporatewhore's picture

We were dead broke when we left the White House.

Four chan's picture

as a disgrace should leave their position gained by gross criminality.

NoDebt's picture

The closer to the oil they are, the scarier they are.  So, I would say more-scary.

Chupacabra-322's picture

We are arming and supporting the Islamists in Syria. We have established training camps for Al Qaeda in Jordan, Libya, the Sinai desert, and Turkey to assure constant flow of Islamist killing machine.

Iraq's leaders will be sorry to ask us to bomb their enemy the Al Qaeda? We may end up bombing the other side, and say oops! Sh't happens! Our Islamist thugs are currently fighting our formal armed military in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Egypt. How crazy this picture? We helped Pakistan/Egypt/Iraq military become very powerful, then, our neocon goons advised us to do "CREATIVE CHAOS"? Set the place on fire along the sectarian line? Saudi / The obvious good foreign policy for America is to cooperate with all nations against Islamic terror. However, that can only happen if the US has leaders that cares about its interest? For decades now, America has elected leaders that works on Saudi/Israeli agenda.

The ignorant unwashed don't know, prevented from knowing, and don't want to know. Hence the presstitudes are in bed with foreign agents who run Washington. Washington is an occupied territory, and its trillion dollar defense work to defend others. As long as there is no free media, the foreign powers will keep running Washington, as the sheeple sleep. Saudi /Qatari money is flowing to feed that fire to exterminate Christianity in the ME! Somehow, our Muslim president is happy with that scheme, as well as his predecessor "Christian Bush"! Forget about the stupid 300 million sheeple, who got no way of knowing this because of our disinformation and lies from the mainstream press.

Chupacabra-322's picture

Bullish to say the least.

from the Latin

NoDebt's picture

This is excellent news for the Fed, BEA and others who were starting to get desperate about what to blame the upcoming Q2 non-bounce-back on.

q99x2's picture

Arrest Loyd Blankfein for invading Iraq.