Massive blast shuts down major oil pipeline — Analysis

After a strange explosion, a Turkish oil company has shut off oil flow from Kirkuk-Ceyhan. The resulting fire was captured in photos that circulated online.

The explosion rocked a section of the pipeline in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras on Tuesday night, about 108 miles (175 kilometers) from the line’s terminal in Ceyhan, the BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation said in a statement. Uncertain as to the cause of Tuesday’s explosion.

“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 added “the line valves closest to the scene were closed”And that “many fire trucks, emergency response teams and related units are intervening.”

Social media users shared photos and videos that purportedly showed the aftermath of the explosion. Smoke thickening clouds could be seen rising over the sky as emergency responders arrived in the region.

The mayor of Kahramanmaras city, 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. 

BOTAS reported that flames had been extinguished after two hours. “completely extinguished,”Adding that the pipeline could be “put back into operation as soon as possible after the necessary measures are taken.”

Many animals are killed by a ruptured pipeline

The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline stretches for some 600 miles (970 kilometers) between Ceyhan, Turkey and Kirkuk, Iraq, and is the latter country’s largest crude oil export line. It has come under repeated attack by militants over the years, including suspected sabotage by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists as well as fighters with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), prompting intermittent closures on the Iraqi side.

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