Turkey restarts ruptured Iraq oil link

Turkey restarts ruptured Iraq oil link

Turkey restarts ruptured Iraq oil link

Turkey’s state oil operator said on Jan. 19 it had resumed crude flows through a ruptured pipeline linking Iraqi energy fields with international markets.

Tuesday’s blast along the Kirkuk-Ceyhan link in southern Turkey contributed to a rise in international crude oil prices to a seven-year high.

The pipeline normally carries more than 450,000 barrels a day from oil fields in northern Iraq to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey’s state oil operator Botaş said the fire had been fully extinguished late Tuesday but gave no indication for what caused the blast.

"All the necessary precautions have been taken by Botaş teams and the oil flow has resumed," the company said.

Officials near the site of the explosion in the city of Kahramanmaraş said early findings showed the rupture and subsequent blast were caused by "an electricity pole that overturned in adverse weather conditions".

The incident occurred during heavy snowfall in a sparsely populated region of southern Turkey.

Images on social media showed huge fireballs illuminating the night sky in snow-covered fields.

Local officials said the blast also briefly halted traffic along a local highway.