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Leak halts Iraq's Ceyhan oil pipeline

Istanbul, March 26, 2013

The flow of oil on a pipeline carrying Iraqi crude oil to Turkey's Mediterranean coast stopped early on Tuesday due to a leak and was expected to resume later in the day, Turkish and Iraqi energy officials said.

An official at Iraq's state North Oil Company (NOC) told Reuters the leak occurred late on Monday on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which carries some 350,000 barrels of oil per day from Iraq's northern oilfields.

"Because the pipe is old, part of it needs to be replaced. Our workers are trying to replace the damaged part today," the NOC official said.

He also said that exports were not affected because there was enough crude in storage at the Turkish port of Ceyhan to continue loading ships.

A Turkish energy official said authorities in Iraq informed them that flows would resume late on Tuesday.

Flows on the double link, which officially has a capacity of 1.6 million bpd but usually carries about a quarter of that, are regularly interrupted due to technical faults as well as attacks by insurgent groups on both sides of the border.

A shipping agent based near Ceyhan said one tanker was loading 2 million barrels on Tuesday, while a second vessel waited offshore for 600,000 barrels. A third tanker is scheduled to arrive on Thursday and load 600,000 barrels.

A second shipper said tankers were expected to load normally.- Reuters




Tags: Iraq | Turkey | pipeline | Leak |

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