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Blast stops oil flow in Turkey-Iraq pipeline

28 August 2012

Another explosion and fire halted oil deliveries along the Kirkuk to Ceyhan pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey on August 27, according to Turkish security sources. The fire started in the Silopi and Cizre districts of Sirnak province near the Iraqi border following the blast.

No-one initially claimed responsibility, but the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, has 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 up 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.

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