Oil flow resumes in Kurdistan-Ceyhan pipeline after Turkey blast

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Wednesday the flow of oil through Kurdistan Region-Ceyhan pipeline has resumed, after it was halted on Tuesday due to a blast near the pipeline in the southeastern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras.

The KRG Ministry of Natural Resources said the explosion was caused by an electric fault, adding that the government would still launch a “thorough investigation” into the incident.

“The explosion has affected the Kurdistan Region’s oil exports,” it said in a statement. “Now, oil exports have resumed.”

A senior security source told Reuters that the blast was due to a falling power pylon and not an attack.

Turkey’s state pipeline operator Botas said earlier that the fire had been extinguished and oil flows would resume within an hour.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi oil ministry said the flow of oil through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline had resumed with a capacity of 75 thousand barrels per day.

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 pipeline’s explosion has added to global supply concerns and helped drive global crude prices to seven-year highs.

Brent crude futures were up $1.06 at $88.57 a barrel by 1044 GMT, adding to the previous session’s jump of 1.2%. The benchmark contract climbed to as much as $89.05, its highest since Oct. 13, 2014.

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