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By Ahmed Rasheed
BAGHDAD, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Iraqi forces captured the Akkas gas field from Islamic State on Thursday, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters in Baghdad.
Iraqi forces launched an offensive last month to oust the militant group from the last area still under its control in Iraq, on the border with Syria, where the field is located. The field hasn’t entered production yet.
Akkas, which has reserves of 5.6 trillion cubic feet, is operated by Korea Gas Company (KOGAS) and located in western Anbar province near the Syrian border.
Development of Iraq’s Akkas gas field had been delayed after Islamic State seized large territories in Anbar in May 2014. KOGAS halted operations after multiple attacks by militants against the company’s sites in the field.
Iraqi oil ministry officials said they plan to send a crew to Akkas to assess damages to the field’s energy facilities.
“We will make a field visit to write a report about the damages and what we need to bring back the field online as soon as possible,” said engineer Mohammed Ibrahim who is a member of an oil ministry team supervising Akkas.
Iraq is planning to contact KOGAS soon to start preparations to resume development works at the field, said Ibrahim.
“Security forces are working to clean Akkas from landmines and booby-traps that might be left by Daesh,” said Colonel Saad Hardan from Anbar police.
Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle; Editing by Mark Potter