Blast shuts down northern pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan
Iraq’s crude oil exports from its northern pipeline have been halted following a new bomb attack in the northern province of Nineveh.
The attack on the night of 8 March caused an explosion at the 1.6 million barrels a day (b/d) pipeline which runs from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, Reuters news agency reports.
“There was no fire only an oil leak so flow was halted,” says Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the Oil Ministry.
Oil flows are expected to resume in the next “few days”.
The incident follows an attack on 26 February on the 310,000 b/d Baiji refinery, 180 kilometres north of Baghdad, which resulted in four deaths and the closure of one of its 150,000 b/d units. The refinery has since been reopened (MEED 6:3:11).
Iraq’s oil infrastructure has faced numerous attacks since the US-led invasion in 2003. It exported a total of 67 million barrels in January at an average of 2.1 million b/d, earning the country more than $6bn. Exports from the north via the Kirkuk pipeline to Turkey contributed 13 million barrels earning it $1.2bn.
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