Iraq oil export pipeline restarts after earthquake

08 February 2023
The pipeline was transporting 475,000 barrels of oil a day prior to stoppage

Iraq’s northern export pipeline from Kirkuk has resumed operations in the wake of a major earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.

Flows restarted on the evening of 7 February while a tanker docked at Ceyhan in Turkey to load crude, the first since a series of earthquakes on 6 February.

Before the resumption of operations, Iraqi Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) said that oil exports would only resume after a “careful inspection of the pipelines is finalised”.

The pipeline extends from Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey. After the earthquake, the Turkish pipeline operator BOTAS said that no damage was caused to the main pipelines that carry crude oil from Iraq.

Prior to the earthquake, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had been pumping 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) through the pipeline and Iraq’s federal government was pumping 75,000 b/d.

Most upstream oil producers have several days of storage capacity, so it is believed that KRG production continued while the pipeline was not operational.

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