A pipeline carrying crude oil to a storage facility in the south of Iraq was hit by several bombs attacks on 13 December causing a fire that continued to rage overnight.

The pipeline runs from the Zubair oil field, which is operated by Italy’s Eni, to the Zubair-1 storage facility near Basra.

Oil Ministry spokesman, Asim Jihad, says exports will not be affected as Iraq has enough storage until repairs are carried out.

“We will bypass the oil pumping operations through another pipeline network until repairs are done,” says Jihad, Reuters news agency reports.

Local media sources report two or three bombs were detonated in succession, with provincial government sources saying firefighters were unable to get to the explosion site, but the Oil Police were checking other pipelines for more explosive devices.

The Zubair-1 storage facility came under attack in June, when militants succeeded in destroying one tank and disrupting pumping (MEED 7:6:11).