Bomb Closes Kirkuk-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline

A bomb attack stopped the export of oil through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline on Tuesday, and killed two people and wounded a third after their vehicles caught fire on a road that runs alongside the link.

Reuters, citing a spokeswoman for Botas, Turkey's state-run pipeline operator, reported on Wednesday evening that "the fire continues, and the flow of oil has been halted. Efforts are centred on putting out the flames".

The bombing, which occurred about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Iraqi border on Tuesday at 1530 GMT, was the second attack on the pipeline in Turkey in less than two months.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas are suspected, having successfully closed the pipeline for three days last month in a similar attack.

The 960 kilometre Kirkuk-Ceyhan link consists of two parallel pipelines and carries an average 500,000 barrels of oil a day to Ceyhan, where it is loaded onto tankers.

It is believed that efforts are underway now to switch oil flow from the larger pipeline to the smaller one, so that some supply will reach tankers already waiting at Ceyhan.

(Source: Reuters, Upstreamonline)

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