Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company (NOC) has stopped pumping crude produced at fields it operates in the Kirkuk area through a pipeline to Turkey according to the UK-based news agency Reuters, which cited three sources.

The order to halt pumping through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline came from the oil ministry in Baghdad, according to an NOC official, who asked not be identified. “There is no technical failure, it’s a decision from Baghdad,” he said.

State-owned NOC normally exports 150,000 barrels a day through the pipeline.

Total exports through the pipeline from Iraq’s north are normally in excess of 600,000 barrels a day.

NOC operates fields in the disputed Kirkuk area, which is claimed by both the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.

The latest disruption comes on the back of another major disruption to exports from the region.

Exports via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline stopped for more than three weeks between 17 February and 11 March.

Turkey blamed the three-week disruption on an attack on the pipeline that occurred on 16 February, near the city of Ufra.

Ahmed Askari, the head of the energy and industry committee in the Kirkuk provincial council said flows from NOC fields were halted hours after the pipeline reopened on 11 March.