Iraq Security Forces Conduct Operations in Lead-up to US Drawdown

Analysts and traders have their eyes trained on Iraq, where an Al Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic State in Iraq in the Levant seized control of Mosul – the country’s second largest city – and have reportedly made advancements toward a strategic oil refining center.

The main oil production export centers do not appear to be under immediate threat, with Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi reportedly saying,

The southern export facilities are “very, very safe,” according to Reuters.

Exports are currently estimated to be running at around 2.6 million barrels per day. It will be more difficult for the militants to extend their reach into the country’s southern Shiite-controlled oil regions that are more heavily fortified. Nevertheless, oil market participants will be closely monitoring the situation.