Blast interrupts Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline
ANKARA - Agence Frence-Presse
Hürriyet file photo.An overnight blast in southeastern Turkey interrupted oil flow from Iraq, a Turkish energy ministry official said today.
The blast hit the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in Mardin province close to Turkey's border with Syria and repairs are expected to take up to 10 days, the official added on customary condition of anonymity.
The incident, believed to be an act of sabotage by the suspected members of outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), also sparked a fire that was brought under control today, according to another source from the ministry.
PKK militants, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, have sabotaged the pipeline several times in the past as part of an armed campaign against the Ankara government.
The pipeline has also been repeatedly attacked by Sunni Arab insurgents inside Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.
The oil flow was again cut last month when a fire erupted in the same Mardin province after a militant attack.
The 970-kilometre (600-mile) pipeline runs from Iraq's northern oil hub of Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, pumping 450,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day.