Iraqi oil exports to Turkey were halted on Friday August 17, when unidentified saboteurs blew up a main pipeline in the northern Iraq. The explosion ruptured a portion of the pipeline buried three feet underground and ignited a fire that was eventually contained on Saturday afternoon.
Ignited near the town of Baji, the fire cut off oil exports to Turkey just two days after they were renewed, interrupting an essential source of revenue for Iraq’s weak economy. According to Iraqi Police Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ibrahim, the explosion was caused by “a group of conspirators who received money from a particular party,” reported AP.
Iraq holds the world’s second largest proven crude reserves, constituting 1,685 oil wells Northern Iraq accounts for some 40 percent of the country’s oil production.
In addition to the oil pipeline, a major water pipeline was damaged on Sunday August 17, flooding the streets of Northern Baghdad. Local residents said they heard a blast in the morning and watched a car speed from the area, reported Reuters. Officials reported that it would take at least eight hours to repair the pipeline and that the region’s water supply is currently cut off. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )