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Major Iraq Oil Pipeline Junction Blown Up

Despite spending trillions of dollars and sacrificing thousands of lives to "secure" Iraq's oil supplies, the U.S. is continually shown up by the Iraqi resistance. Like all wars, the war in Iraq is a complete disaster for the environment--and after all, you can't really separate impacts to the "environment" from impacts to human lives.
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer

Iraq Oil Pipeline Junction Blown Up

 http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040914/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_oil_11


Firefighters struggled to put out the blaze after the attack near Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad. Crude oil cascaded down the hillside into the river. Fire burned atop the water, fueled by the gushing oil.

In Vienna, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadhban said the country would try to keep up its production of more than 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, 2 million of which is exported daily, but he didn't say how.

"I'm confident security will be improved," al-Ghadhban said ahead of an OPEC (news - web sites) meeting here Wednesday. Beiji is the point where several oil pipelines converge, said Lt. Col. Lee Morrison of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

One of them apparently was a domestic pipeline that fed a local power plant. The explosion set off a fire that melted cables and led to the power outage, electricity officials said. "Beiji is the chokepoint," Morrison said. "It's so easy to hit."

The 3 a.m. attack came soon after engineers had completed a two-month project to install two critical valves that had been damaged in an earlier blast.

Morrison, commander of the northern office of Task Force Shield, based in Kirkuk, said U.S. soldiers dropped off barriers to guard the lines two days ago, but Iraqi authorities had not yet erected them. Iraqi officials have been struggling to protect the country's vast oil infrastructure, deploying thousands of security officers to guard the lines. Insurgents, however, have largely acted with impunity and often inside knowledge.

"They already know it's a critical point because they've blown it up before," said Morrison, of St. Petersburg, Fla. "They obviously know the system. But it's not rocket science."

Militants waging a 16-month insurgency have attacked oil pipelines and other infrastructure as part of a campaign to destabilize the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and drive coalition forces from the country. Allawi told the Arabic-language satellite channel Al-Arabiya on Monday that sabotage of oil pipelines had already cost the country about $2 billion in losses, with oil prices near record highs.

Minister of Electricity Ayham al-Samarie said his technicians and engineers have been working to restore power for hours and 30 percent of the work has been done. "This made the Beiji Electricity station stop for technical reasons making the whole electricity system (in Iraq) stop," al-Samarie said in a statement. "Power will be back in the coming hours," he said.

In a separate development, fire erupted in oil valves that were undergoing repair work from an earlier attack in the town of Riyadh, about 40 miles southwest of Kirkuk, said an official with the state-run North Oil Co.

The attack last month on the valves had already disrupted the main 40-inch pipeline carrying Iraqi oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

On Monday, the oil official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 75 percent of the repair work on the valves had been completed and that they were hoping to reopen them soon.

It was not immediately clear what caused Tuesday's fire, or whether it would delay the valves' reopening.

Despite the shutdown, officials have been able to keep northern oil exports flowing, albeit at a reduced level, by resorting to a network of substitute pipelines.
solidarity 14.Sep.2004 11:37

solidarity

keep up the good work.

don't forget Venezuela ! 14.Sep.2004 12:34

FOXNews viewer

Hmmm...if "they" keep causing us "Freedom loving Americans" more trouble we'll have to help ourselves to some of that Venezuelan oil...
After all, Chavez I think, hates freedom, and he wasn't at my church the other day exactly, and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell says you can't trust those people south of the border.We better secure up all that Venezuelan oil also.
At least those damn environmentalist hippee- terrorists will probably wise up their asses and want some of that there AN-WAR oil to open up for us all here.

1st few paragraphs of AP story 14.Sep.2004 13:00

AP via CTV.ca

BEIJI, Iraq Saboteurs blew up a junction where multiple oil pipelines cross the Tigris River in northern Iraq on Tuesday, sending plumes of smoke leaping into the sky, officials said.

Firefighters struggled to put out the blaze after the attack near Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad. U.S. military officials surveying the blast estimated it could take up to three days to put out the fire.

Crude oil cascaded down the hillside into the river. Fire burned atop the water, fueled by the gushing oil.

Beiji is the point where several oil pipelines converge, said Lt. Col. Lee Morrison of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Beiji is the chokepoint," he said. "It's so easy to hit."

The 3 a.m. attack came soon after engineers had completed a two-month project to install two critical valves that had been damaged in an earlier blast.

Morrison, commander of the northern office Task Force Shield based in Kirkuk, said that U.S. soldiers had just dropped off barriers to guard the lines two days ago, but that Iraqi authorities had not yet erected them.

Iraqi oil officials have been struggling to guard the country's vast oil infrastructure, deploying thousands of oil security officers to guard the lines. Insurgents, however, have largely acted with impunity and often inside knowledge.

"They already know it's a critical point because they've blown it up before," said Morrison, of St. Petersburg, Florida. "They obviously know the system. But it's not rocket science."

Militants waging a 16-month insurgency have attacked oil pipelines as part of a campaign to destabilize the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and drive coalition forces from the country.

Allawi told the Arabic-language satellite channel Al-Arabiya on Monday that sabotage of oil pipelines had already cost the country about $2 billion in losses in all.


unnamed White House Spokesperson... 14.Sep.2004 16:10

this thing here

"We've seen no evidence of things getting worse. Things are going just fine in Iraq. There's light at the end of the tunnel..."

This thing here 15.Sep.2004 19:31

point's out w house says

'There's light at the end of the tunnel..."

That's their way of mentioning the hole in the pipeline.