Turkey Starts Repairs On Iraqi Kurdish Oil Pipeline As Violence Flares

cccTurkey has begun work to repair a pipeline taking crude oil from northern Iraq to the Mediterranean through its restive southeast and aims to restore flows soon, the Turkish energy ministry said on Saturday.

The pipeline, which has been repeatedly sabotaged in recent months, normally carries some 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region and the disputed Kirkuk oil fields to the port of Ceyhan for export.

Rising security threats in Turkey’s southeast mean Iraqi Kurdish exports to world markets through the pipeline could remain halted for another two weeks, Turkish shipping and industry sources said on Friday.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who have waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s southeast, arried out a bomb attack on the pipeline in the Idil district of Sirnak province on Feb. 25.

The ministry said there was no fire as a result of the bomb as the crude flow had already been stopped, but 40-inch and 46-inch diameter pipes were damaged.

“The Ministry of Energy has launched work to repair the damage to the oil pipeline and the security forces have taken necessary steps to ensure the pipeline’s safety. We expect to restart the oil delivery soon,” it said in a statement.