Although security forces insist they are now back in full control of the 320,000 b/d Baiji refinery in Iraq after protracted clashes with militants who held parts of the plant this week, the ongoing violence continues to impact oil markets.
* ICE Brent futures broke through $115/b on Thursday and remained close to that nine-month high on Friday at $114.90/b
* The Indian government has asked the country's refiners to prepare short- and medium-term contingency plans and to diversify crude import sources to minimize the impact of any supply disruption from Iraq
* The head of Russia's Bashneft said Friday that work was continuing at its exploration block in southern Iraq despite the ongoing violence in the country
* The ministry of energy of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq has issued a statement to deny a report by Bloomberg that the KRG was offering crude from the region at half market price and was conspiring with
Turkey to initiate the break up of the Iraqi state
* A third cargo of Iraqi Kurdish crude has begun loading at the Turkish port of Ceyhan onto the Suezmax tanker, United Emblem, a Turkish port agent said Friday
* A panel of experts in the US late Thursday said Iraq's oil sector faced a potentially grim future, not only with the recent violence, but also with political disarray and dissatisfaction among Western oil companies over contract terms
* A top Iranian official said Friday that US President Barack Obama lacked "serious will" to combat terrorism after an Iraqi appeal for American air strikes went unanswered
* Clashes with Sunni Muslim militants have killed 34 Iraqi security forces in Al-Qaim, a town on the Syrian border, officials said Friday
* Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said Friday that Sunni jihadists who have overrun swathes of territory must be expelled from the country before it is too late
* Sunni radicals have taken control of one of Saddam Hussein's former chemical weapons factories, a US official said.