Oil Flow Resumes in Kirkuk-Ceyhan Pipeline After Blast in Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters) — The flow of crude oil through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has resumed, after it was halted on Tuesday due to a blast near the pipeline in the southeastern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, officials said on Wednesday.

The explosion, which a senior security source later said was due to a falling power pylon and not an attack, caused the pipeline near Kahramanmaras to catch fire. The incident has added to global supply concerns and helped drive global crude prices to seven-year highs.

Turkey's state pipeline operator Botas said earlier the fire had been extinguished and oil flows would resume within an hour, after "all necessary measures have been taken by Botas teams.”

The pipeline carries crude oil from Iraq's Kurdistan region for export from Turkey's port of Ceyhan.

Another source in the Kurdistan region said the blast had no effect on overall monthly export volumes.

"Oil was stored upstream and can be fully released now that pipeline is back online," the person said.

Kurdish crude exports averaged 10 million barrels per month between October and December, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed. So far, 5.2 million barrels have been loaded in January.

The cargoes mainly head to refineries in Mediterranean countries such as Croatia, Greece, Italy and Spain, the data shows.

Brent crude futures were up 0.35% to $87.82 a barrel by 0745 GMT, adding to the previous session's jump of 1.2%. The benchmark contract climbed to as much as $89.05, its highest since Oct. 13, 2014.

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