Fire in a pipeline, carrying around a quarter of the total amount of oil export of Iraq, forced closure of that pipeline on Monday. As a result the loading of the oil at Ceyhan export terminal of Turkey was also stopped. This is the report provided by the security and shipping sources on Monday.
The reason behind this fire in the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline situated in the Sirnak province off the Iraqi border is yet to be confirmed, but according to the security sources, authorities are suspecting sabotage.
The fire was extinguished and now the workers are trying to cool off this 600 mile or 960 kilometers long double link.
According to the Turkish officials at Ankara, oil flows are yet to recommence and they have also stated that the estimated time for the repair work cannot be confirmed immediately.
A spokesman from the Oil Ministry of Iraq has confirmed that the export procedure has been halted by the Iraqi authorities because of the fir which broke around 12.35 pm (2135 GMT) and the expectation is Turkey is going to open the second pipe of the link for the export purpose.
Asim Jihad from the ministry has stated that the Turkish authority has been informed that a blast has been followed by the fire on the export pipeline with the diameter of 40 inches and due to that Iraq has halted the flow of the crude oil.
He also added that the ministry has demanded to the Turkish authority to start the repair work as soon as possible, so that the rest of the oil can be switched to the second pipeline with 46 inch diameter which will eliminate any chance of further delay in the oil export of Iraq to the Ceyhan port.
The shippers have informed that, about 5 to 10 tankers are still to load at Ceyhan.
According to one of the shippers, there is about 500,000 barrels of oil in the storage but that is not enough to fill the tanker.
This pipeline has exported 300,000 barrel oil per day in the last month, but it needs to be shut down frequently because of the fire. Most recent one happened on 6th august.
Kurdistan Workers Party, an outlawed and armed group which is fighting the Turkish militia in the southeastern area of the country has attacked this link in the past and they call it a strategic asset and advantage.