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Turkish blast halts oil flow in pipeline

Latest update : 2008-08-06

An explosion on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline on Tuesday night in eastern Turkey prompted authorities to halt the flow of oil along the pipeline, state-run news agency Anatolia has reported.

Oil flow through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was cut Wednesday after an explosion sparked a fire in a section in eastern Turkey, local officials told Anatolia news agency.
   
The incident occurred around midnight in a pump at a section near the eastern town of Refahiye, in Erzincan province, the agency said.
   
Refahiye sub-governor Mehmet Makas ruled out the possibility of a sabotage, saying that a fault in the system had been detected before the blast.
   
He said authorities had taken measures to contain the fire which was still burning Wednesday morning.
   
Separatist Kurdish rebels, who are active in eastern and southeastern Turkey, have sabotaged gas and oil pipelines in the past as part of their 23-year armed campaign for self-rule in the region.
   
The BTC pipeline was inaugurated in 2006, carrying oil from the Caspian Sea fields to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, from where tankers transport the crude to Western markets.

Date created : 2008-08-06

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