- Title: IRAQ: SABOTEURS BLOW UP SECTION OF IRAQ'S NORTHERN OIL PIPELINE.
- Date: 19th October 2004
- Summary: (U3) BAIJI, IRAQ (OCTOBER 19, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. LV/GV/TRACK: BLACK SMOKE COVERING AREA NEAR BLOWN UP PIPELINE; THICK BLACK SMOKE RISING FROM BLOWN UP PIPELINE; PIPELINE RAGING IN FIRE; MORE HUGE CLOUD OF BLACK SMOKE (9 SHOTS) 1.06 2. GV/GV/PAN: FIREFIGHTERS TRYING TO PUT OUT BLAZE/ RAGING FLAMES; CLOSE-UP OF RAGING FLAMES OF FIRE; FIREFIGHTERS DOUSING FIRE, PAN TO FIRE (3 SHOTS) 1.47 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2004 12:00
- Location: BAIJI, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA8BQ9G8S1B08LL49WKOLV5AYY0
- Story Text: Saboteurs blew up a section of Iraq's northern oil
Saboteurs blew up a section of Iraq's northern oil
export pipeline on Tuesday (October 19, 2004) and set it on
fire, but exports to Turkey kept flowing, oil officials and
Firefighters were trying to put out the blaze in the
twin pipeline, 10 km (six miles) north of the Baiji
refining centre. Huge plumes of smoke rose from the scene
in a Sunni Muslim area hostile generally to the U.S.-backed
government, witnesses said.
"Exports are going through the other part of the twin
pipeline. We have had similar attacks on the same pipeline
before," said an oil official at the scene. He declined to
Supply disruptions and fears over tightly stretched
supplies amid strong demand have helped boost oil prices
more than 60 percent this year.
U.S. light crude CLc1> stood around 53.38 United
States dollars a barrel at 0605 GMT, off a record high of
55.33 USD a barrel set on Monday.
A police official said around 2 kilograms of explosives
were detonated beneath the pipeline overnight.
The twin pipeline carried 250,000 barrels per day (bpd)
of Kirkuk crude to Turkey's Ceyhan port before the attack.
Iraq managed reduced oil flows after one of the
pipelines was last hit in another area southwest of the
city of Kirkuk around two months ago.
Northern oil exports, which ran at 800,000 bpd before
the Iraq war last year, have started to recover in the past
two months and oil officials felt confident enough to
strike term contracts to sell northern crude oil with
international oil companies such as BP BP.L> and Exxon
Mobil Corp. XOM.N>. The government has also sought to
enlist members of northern tribes in an oil protection
force, but sabotage has continued, including attacks on the
domestic fuel distribution
An oil engineer said the North Oil Company had
restored its capability in recent months to switch flows
quickly from one export line to the other.
"They have quietly managed to improve their response to
sabotage," the engineer said. "Exports would still come to
a halt if both lines were hit, but we have not yet seen an
attack so spectacular."
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