Brent crude increased towards $114 a barrel today, following Sunni militants’ renewed attack on a key refinery near Baghdad, Iraq.

Several global oil firms have urged their staff to vacate Iraq following the militant attacks in the north of the country, with concerns that they may spread to the south.

Reuters reported that Brent increased 20 cents to $113.65 a barrel, while US crude gained 35 cents to $106.71 a barrel following a draw in domestic stocks.

The news agency reported that concerns about disruption to Iraq’s supply drove up both benchmarks by more than 4% last week, the biggest weekly jump since July for Brent and since December for US crude.

"The facility’s foreign staff have been asked to vacate the area while local staff were urged to stay."

Iraq’s biggest oil refinery, Baiji, has been targeted by Sunni militants, who used machine-gun fire and mortars to attack the facility.

The plant, located to the north of Baghdad, has been closed and the facility is currently under the control of military.

The facility’s foreign staff have been asked to vacate the area while local staff were urged to stay.

According to Reuters, Iraqi officials said the southern regions that produce some 90% of the country’s oil are completely safe from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Iraq’s oil output target of four million barrels per day by the end of 2014 may be at risk, as demand is increasing due to a stronger global economy.

Energy