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Iraq’s Northern Oil Exports Resume

December 12, 2004

KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) _ Exports from Iraq’s northern oil fields resumed Saturday after insurgents last month blew up part of the main pipeline carrying Iraqi crude to Turkey, an official from the state-run Northern Oil Co. said.

An official for the company, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 500,000 barrels of crude will be pumped daily from oil fields in northern Iraqi to Turkish port of Ceyhan.

``Pumping started today and we will try to increase exports if no sabotage happens,″ he said.

On Nov. 15, saboteurs blew up the pipeline, which connects the Kirkuk oil field with Ceyhan.

The attack, in the Safra area, 40 miles southwest of Kirkuk, shut down Iraqi oil exports from the north. Insurgents also set fire to a storage and pumping station.

The exports pipeline runs from Kirkuk, going south to Beiji before connecting to a storage station called IT1, near the city of Mosul.

The attack in November occurred between Kirkuk and Beiji.

Iraq was pumping an average of 400,000 barrels of crude a day through Turkey before a series of sabotages in early November.

Insurgents have repeatedly targeted the country’s crucial oil infrastructure in a bid to undermine the U.S.-backed interim government.

The Oil Ministry said that between August and October, Iraq lost $7 billion in potential revenues due to sabotage against the country’s oil infrastructure.

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