BAGHDAD, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Iraq hopes to resume production from the Nineveh oil fields in the “next few months” after they were torched by Islamic State during a U.S.-backed offensive on their stronghold Mosul, the oil ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry instructed state-owned North Oil Company to prepare “an urgent plan” to rehabilitate the oil fields the militants had set on fire for smoke to cover their movements from the air.

Nineveh’s oil fields, located mainly in the region of Qayyara south of Mosul, used to produce sour heavy crude.

The region was retaken from Islamic State militants in August 2016, two months before the launch of an offensive on the city of Mosul itself.

Nineveh’s two main fields, Qayyara and Najma, produced up to 30,000 barrels per day before falling under control of the militants in mid-2014. The site also has a small refinery to process local oil.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Jason Neely)

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