Updated: Bomb blasts close Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline

Explosions in Turkish territory linked to PKK terror group

Flares at Kirkuk near the start of the pipeline to Ceyhan. The explosions follow a decision by the KRG to discontinue exports via the pipeline. GETTY
Flares at Kirkuk near the start of the pipeline to Ceyhan. The explosions follow a decision by the KRG to discontinue exports via the pipeline. GETTY

UPDATE 14:20 5/4/2012: Iraq Oil Report, citing an official from Iraq's North Oil Company, reports that the pipeline is now back online from 12.30pm local time.

Reuters reports three near simultaneous bomb attacks along the oil pipeline which brings Iraqi crude north from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, citing a Turkish security official.

The explosions reportedly took place in the Idil area of Turkey's Sirnak province earlier today.

Reuters also cites a Turkish energy official that a separate explosion at one of the two pipelines running the route to Ceyhan has been blown up, leading to a large fire.

Turkey has long battled with the Parti Karkerani Kurdistan (PKK), a group of Kurdish separatist guerillas waging a violent secessionist campaign in the far south west of Turkey.

The attacks come shortly after the Kurdish regional government shut its oil exports via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline as part of an escalating row over oil payments and the regularization of the Kurdish oil industry.

The development is likely to raise tensions in political negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad, with likely accusations from the latter that the PKK are acting as a proxy for Erbil, something politicians in the KRG deny.

The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day and typically pumps 500,000 bpd, due to its poor condition. The line has been subject to several previous attacks from within Iraq.

s attacks from within Iraq.

 

Newsletter

Most Popular

Digital Edition

Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2020

Subscribe Now