New Explosion Hits Iraqi Oil Pipeline West Of Baghdad
BAGHDAD (Dow Jones)-Saboteurs hit a pipeline carrying crude oil from the northern city of Kirkuk to the Haditha refinery west of Baghdad over the New Year holidays, an oil industry source said Saturday.
The source said explosions hit the pipeline near the al-Thurthar lake. The pipeline carries crude oil to the 10,000 barrel-a-day refinery, which is 260 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
The refinery resumed operations only few days ago following a suspension of more than a month after the same pipeline was set on fire at a different location in October, the source said.
He said repairs to the pipeline would take weeks and production would stop at the refinery, which produces mainly gasoline and kerosene for nearly 1 million people in nearby towns and villages.
Since the U.S.-led war that ousted the government of Saddam Hussein, Iraq has suffered from shortages of gasoline and other oil products that are being met through imports from Kuwait, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Jordan.
Persistent sabotage of Iraq's pipeline networks has decreased Iraq's refined oil production and slowed down the oil ministry's plans to increase oil exports.
The blast follows a spate of explosions over the last few months in Iraq's oil export pipeline to Turkey, which hampered oil sales from the pipeline.
-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; +88216 2180 3061; firstname.lastname@example.org
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