By HASSAN HAFIDH
Exports of crude oil from northern Iraq have been suspended
after a new bomb attack against a key pipeline, an Iraqi person
familiar with the matter and a Middle East shipping agent said,
the second such interruption in less than a week.
Iraq normally exports an average of 300,000 to 350,000 bpd
via the pipeline, which carries crude from the Kirkuk oil
fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
"The attackers blew up part of the pipeline using six bombs
planted underneath the line," a person familiar with the matter
told Dow Jones Newswires.
The attack took place at the north of the al-Shurgat area
north of Baiji, some 200 kilometers north of the capital,
Baghdad, he said.
A Middle East shipping agent in the Mediterranean port of
Ceyhan confirmed that the flow has been stopped.
Last week the pipeline was cut in a similar location in
order to smuggle the crude. Flows resumed after the damaged
section was repaired. It may take three days to repair the
section of pipe that was destroyed, the Iraqi person said.
Shipping agents said they managed to pump some 2.6 million
barrels of oil before the new attack.
Three vessels are waiting in port in Ceyhan to load with
Kirkuk crude, the shipping agent said.
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 United States led invasion in 2003.
Dow Jones Newswires