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Turkey restarts oil flow through Iraq following pipe explosion

In this screenshot taken from a video, smoke rises from an oil pipeline near the town of Pazarcik in the Kahramanmaras province, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (IHA agency via AP)
In this screenshot taken from a video, smoke rises from an oil pipeline near the town of Pazarcik in the Kahramanmaras province, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (IHA agency via AP)

Turkey’s state oil operator says it has resumed crude flows through a ruptured pipeline linking Iraqi energy fields with international markets.

Yesterday’s blast along the Kirkuk-Ceyhan link in southern Turkey contributed to a rise in international crude oil prices to a seven-year high. The pipeline normally carries more than 450,000 barrels a day from oil fields in northern Iraq to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Iraqi oil ministry says that the halt should not affect its overall volume of exports. The Iraqi federal government pumps about 75,000 barrels a day through the oil link. The pipeline then passes through an autonomous Kurdish region that adds the remaining oil.

Turkish officials near the site of the explosion in the city of Kahramanmaras said the rupture and subsequent blast appeared to have been caused by “an electricity pole that overturned in adverse weather conditions.” The incident occurred during heavy snowfall in a sparsely populated region of southern Turkey.

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