ANKARA, Turkey - An explosion and fire has shut down twin pipelines that carry oil from Iraq to the Mediterranean, an official said Saturday. No one was hurt in the blast.
The explosion late Friday hit a section of a pipeline that carries oil from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, near the southeastern town of Midyat, said an Energy Ministry official. A second line that runs parallel was not damaged, but was also shut down as a precaution, the official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of government rules, said the cause of the blast was under investigation but was most likely the result of sabotage.
Kurdish rebels, fighting for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast, have bombed the pipeline before, cutting oil flows from Iraq for days.
The official said firefighters were still trying to extinguish the blaze and repairs would begin as soon as the fire is put out. It was not clear when oil flows to Ceyhan would resume.