Kurdish forces have taken control of the Khabbaz crude oil separation unit near the city of Kirkuk after it was seized by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) fighters.

Khabbaz was among a number of oil fields and facilities that were seized by Isis over the summer of 2014 when it swept into northern Iraq and took control of Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

Since the fall of Mosul there has been frequent fighting between Isis and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) military over control of fields and infrastructure in the Kirkuk area.

According to a report by Reuters, 15 oil workers from Khabbaz are still missing after the attack and field operator North Oil Company suspects they may have been kidnapped.

Khabbaz has a production capacity of about 30,000 barrels a day (b/d).

Iraq recently restarted exports from the Kirkuk field – the largest upstream oil asset in the north of the country – after a deal with the KRG to use its export pipeline into Turkey.