Last updated: 8 August, 2012

Oil flow from Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline to resume

The oil flow from the Turkish-Iraqi pipeline will resume Wednesday following a blast that damaged the pipeline, Turkey’s energy minister said.

“In addition to security measures, the maintenance (of the damaged pipeline) will continue but the flow of crude oil will hopefully resume today,” Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency on Wednesday.

A blast Monday hit the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in Mardin province close to Turkey’s border with Syria, with Kurdish rebels suspected of being behind the attack.

Yildiz blamed “terrorists” for the attack, a term often used by Turkish officials to refer to militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, have sabotaged the pipeline several times in the past as part of an armed campaign against the Ankara government.

The 970-kilometre (600-mile) pipeline runs from Iraq’s northern oil hub of Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, pumping 450,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Iraq depends on oil sales for the vast majority of government income. The oil-rich nation exported some 2.515 million barrels per day in July, earning about $7.535 billion in revenues.