US Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss with Gulf counterparts the potential negative impacts of the Iraqi crisis on oil supplies, a senior US official told Al-Araby Al-Jadid website Sunday.
Kerry, currently in a Middle East trip, is scheduled to visit Iraq based on a request from president Barack Obama.
Kerry told reporters who accompanied him on his trip to Egypt that he would discuss with Iraqis and other regional leaders the negative repercussions of the current unrest in Iraq on the global oil supply.
Sunni militants have seized a border region between Syria and Iraq, thus eliminating a border line drawn by colonial powers almost a century ago.
The Gulf region depends mainly on oil, with the largest oil reserves in the world (estimated at 486.8 billion barrels, equivalent to 35.7% of the total world reserves of crude oil and 70% of the total world reserves of OPEC).
Concerning its ranking, the Gulf region is considered the largest producer and exporter of oil. It also plays a leading role in the world in general and in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in particular.
The Baiji refinery, the largest oil refinery in Iraq, has turned into a battlefield between militants and the Iraqi army since Wednesday. The refinery is located at a distance of 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad, near Tikrit. On Sunday morning, however, the fighting has lulled as Iraqi forces repulsed the attack.