Smoke rises from the Baiji oil refinery following combat between Isis militants and Iraqi forces in June. (Reuters)
Smoke rises from the Baiji oil refinery following combat between Isis and Iraqi forces in JuneReuters

The fight for Baiji oil refinery looks to be over for now, as Iraqi government troops forced Islamic State (Isis) militants from areas immediately around the facility.

The country's biggest oil refinery has been contested since fighters aligned with the so-called Islamic State (IS) seized it for a week in a summer advance through parts of northern Iraq.

Iraqi troops will expel the militants from areas close to a pipeline that supplies the plant, according to Colonel Khalaf al-Jabouri, of Iraq's anti-terror forces, as cited by Bloomberg.

"We will secure the pipeline network that feeds oil to the refinery," Jabouri told Bloomberg. "The Iraqi forces are now seeking to clear the path where the pipelines pass through to pump the oil to Baiji and also to export the crude to Turkey."

The refinery has been attacked frequently since June, as IS militants fought to capture the site as a means to fund their nascent rogue caliphate that spans parts of Iraq and Syria.

The plant can refine around 310,000 barrels of oil per day, which amounts to around 40% of Iraq's refining capacity.

It would take around three months for the plant to start functioning again, Baiji engineer Saad al-Azzawi told Bloomberg.