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Civil unrests in the southern parts of Iraq intensified on Friday as protestors, unhappy over perceived corruption and misrule by Iraq’s ruling government, stormed the Iranian consulate in Basra while others briefly took workers hostage at a nearby oilfield. Protestors held two Iraqi employees hostage at a water treatment facility linked to the West Quarna 2 oilfield managed by Russia’s Lukoil  for about an hour before leaving the facility peacefully. A manager at the oilfield said production was not disrupted.  Iraq’s only major sea port at Umm Qasr, 60kb sout of Basra remained shut on Friday although oil exports carried out from offshore platforms have not been affected.  Smaller protests also took place on Friday in other cities including Karbala and Baghdad.

The presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia  met in Tehran for a summit of key foreign players in Syria’s war where they were unable to agree on a ceasefire that would stop a Syrian government offensive in the rebel-held Idlib provinces. Turkey’s Tayyip Edrogan pushed for a truce as he said he feared a massacre and said Turkey could not accommodate any more refugees flooding over its border. 

Energy firms reduced the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. last week for the second time in three weeks, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. In the week to September 7, drillers cut 2 oil rigs to bring the total U.S. oil rig count down to 860. The rig count, seen as an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when only 756 rigs were active.

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