SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey’s state pipeline operator said it has put out a blaze following an explosion that cut oil flow at the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline near the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras.
A key crude pipeline from the Kurdistan Region to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea was knocked out by an explosion on Tuesday.
Pipeline operator Botas said the fire had been extinguished, cooling operations are under way and it would reopen once the “necessary measures” had been taken.
“The oil pipeline will be operational as soon as possible after necessary precautions are taken,” it said in a statement, according to Reuters.
It further said the reason for the blast, close to the 511th kilometer of the pipeline, was unknown.
The pipeline is a key route bringing crude oil from the Kurdistan Region to Europe via the port of Ceyhan.
Kurdish crude exports averaged 10 million barrels per month between October and December, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed, according to Reuters.
So far, 5.2 million barrels have been loaded in January, Reuters said.
The cargoes mainly head to refineries in Mediterranean countries such as Croatia, Greece, Italy and Spain, the data showed.
The pipelines have been halted before. Back in 2012 blasts blamed on saboteurs halted the link for several months.