Massive Explosion in Turkey Shuts Down Key Iraqi Oil Pipeline (+Video)
- January, 19, 2022 - 11:27
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Turkish state-run petroleum firm has cut off the flow of oil from the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline following a mysterious explosion and the resulting blaze, with the aftermath reportedly caught in images circulating online.
The blast late Tuesday near the town of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province caused a huge fire that forced authorities to also shut down a highway, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. No one was hurt in the explosion.
The pipeline carries oil from the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
Turkey’s pipeline company, BOTAS, said the fire was extinguish and that operations would resume “as soon as possible after the necessary measures are taken.”
The cause of the explosion was under investigation.
“There was an explosion for an unknown reason, and a fire occurred as a result. The oil flow was immediately stopped by BOTAS teams and technical safety measures were taken,” the firm said, adding, “the line valves closest to the scene were closed” and that “many fire trucks, emergency response teams and related units are intervening.”
Photos and videos making the rounds on social media purported to show the flames following the blast, with thick clouds of black smoke seen billowing over the horizon as first responders poured into the area.
The mayor of Kahramanmaras, Hayrettin Gungor, told local media that the incident did not result in any casualties, while provincial Governor Omer Fauk Coskun noted that the damage was contained, saying the fire did not spread to nearby residential areas.
After about two hours, BOTAS announced that the flames had been “completely extinguished,” adding that the pipeline would be “put back into operation as soon as possible after the necessary measures are taken.”
The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline stretches for around 600 miles between Ceyhan and Kirkuk and is Iraq’s largest crude oil export line. It has come under repeated attack by militants over the years, including suspected sabotage by Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) terrorists as well as fighters with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), prompting intermittent closures on the Iraqi side.