By John Lee.
Iraq's northern Kirkuk-Ceyhan export pipeline has been inoperable since March due to sabotage, while attempts to repair it have been curtailed due to ongoing insurgent activity.
Deputy prime minister for energy Hussein al-Shahristani (pictured) explained the urgency of the situation, noting that the area was secure enough to repair the pipeline, but not secure enough to prevent another attack:
"The halting of Kirkuk exports is an obstacle that prevents us from increasing our exports. It should be a priority for our security forces to secure the pipelines. I realize that our forces are facing attacks in the western part of the country and along the borders with Syria ... but it's also urgent to boost production and exports to provide required revenues to build the country and purchase arms for the security forces."
(Source: Todays Zaman)