BAGHDAD, Sept 6 Iraq has put out fires at six
more oil wells in the Qayyara region, which Iraqi forces
recaptured from Islamic State late last month, but at least
three fires are still blazing, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.
The militants sabotaged much of Qayyara's oil infrastructure
before fleeing ahead of the government advance, sending black
smoke into the sky for days and oil pouring into main
The authorities said last week they had already put out
fires from four wells, but a Reuters correspondent visiting the
city afterwards saw around a dozen separate plumes of smoke and
a military officer in the area said on Sunday the fires were
"The firefighting consisted of removing explosives from
these wells, putting out the fires and preventing crude oil from
leaking into the river to prevent pollution," ministry spokesman
Asim Jihad said.
Responders also built dirt walls and trenches to prevent oil
from reaching residential neighbourhoods, he added.
Jihad said three wells that remain outside the control of
the security forces would be extinguished as soon as they were
The Qayyara region produces heavy sour crude and has a small
refinery to process some of the oil.
The oil ministry has said it does not expect to resume
production from the Qayyara region before security forces
recapture Mosul, Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq. The
two main fields, Qayyara and Najma, used to produce 30,000
barrels per day of heavy crude before the takeover by Islamic
(Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Mark Potter)