A new unit has increased the capacity of the Kirkuk refinery by 13,000 barrels per day (b/d), the oil ministry announced, Zawya reports.

The refinery now has the capacity to refine 56,000 b/d of oil, according to the ministry’s statement.

In March of this year, the government announced that it had increased the refinery’s capacity by 10,000 b/d, Reuters reported at the time.

The Kirkuk region has experienced significant political upheaval this year, leading to a sharp decline in oil production from its oilfields.

Following an independence referendum held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the central government in Iraq commenced a military operation to seize Kirkuk and its oilfields from KRG control.

The area, while claimed by the KRG, falls outside the semi-autonomous Kurdish region recognized by the Iraqi constitution. KRG forces had moved into the area in 2014 to prevent it from falling into the hands of ISIS militants as they swept across northern Iraq.