Turkey restarts ruptured Iraq oil link

AFP , Wednesday 19 Jan 2022

Turkey's state oil operator said on Wednesday it had resumed crude flows through a ruptured pipeline linking Iraqi energy fields with international markets.

Turkey oil pipeline
Smoke rises from an oil pipeline near the town of Pazarcik in the Kahramanmaras province, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. AP

Tuesday's blast along the Kirkuk-Ceyhan link in southern Turkey contributed to a rise in international crude oil prices to a seven-year high.

The pipeline normally carries more than 450,000 barrels a day from oil fields in northern Iraq to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement that the halt should not affect its overall volume of exports.

The Iraqi federal government pumps about 75,000 barrels a day through the oil link.

The pipeline then passes through an autonomous Kurdish region that adds the remaining oil.

Kurdish officials issued no immediate statement about whether their overall supplies had been affected by the cut.

Turkish officials near the site of the explosion in the city of Kahramanmaras said the rupture and subsequent blast appeared to have been caused by "an electricity pole that overturned in adverse weather conditions".

The incident occurred during heavy snowfall in a sparsely populated region of southern Turkey.

Images on social media showed huge fireballs illuminating the night sky in snow-covered fields.

Local officials said the blast also briefly halted traffic along a regional highway.

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