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Pipeline blast halts Iraqi oil flow to Turkey

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An explosion on a pipeline carrying about a quarter of Iraqi crude exports from oilfields near the city of Kirkuk, has halted flows and repairs are expected to take up to 10 days, according to Turkish energy ministry officials.

Exports at the terminus in Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast were unaffected because of reserves that were held at the port, a source at the Iraqi North Oil Company said on Monday.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was behind the attack on Monday morning, according to Firat News, which is close to the group.

The blast in Mardin province, north of Turkey's border with Syria, comes a day after at least 19 people were killed in southeastern Turkey following a battle between soldiers and PKK fighters.

The PKK has repeatedly attacked the link in Mardin province, calling it a strategic asset, in its 28-year campaign against the Turkish state.

Exports along the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline have been running at around 300,000 barrels per day, the Iraqi official said.

A Turkish official said only one of the two pipes in the 970km double link was damaged, and engineers were assessing whether flows can be resumed on one of the pipes.

Officials at the NOC said the second pipe would take at least 24 hours to become operational again.


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