Sabotage halts Northern Iraq oil exports

5/9/2013

Sabotage halts Northern Iraq oil exports

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's oil exports from northern Kirkuk oil fields to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey have been on hold since late Sunday due to an "act of sabotage" against the line inside Iraq, a person familiar with the matter and a Middle East shipping agent.

Iraq exports some 300,000 bopd from that pipeline which has seen several acts of sabotage inside Iraq and Turkey over recent months.

The pipeline was cut by unknown attackers who were intending to smuggle crude oil from the pipeline near a place called al-Shurgat north of Baiji, 200 km north of Baghdad, the person said.

"Repair of the pipeline is underway and the flow could be resumed in the coming few hours," the person said. "The flow from Kirkuk has shut down since Sunday night and it is still closed," the agent said.

Loading of Iraqi crude oil from Ceyhan port has been suspended since Monday, the agent added.

The Iraq-Turkey pipeline has frequently suffered attacks, sometimes inside Turkey and on other occasions inside Iraq. The pipeline was idle for many years due to acts of sabotage after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Dow Jones Newswires

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