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Iran Contains Fire After Oil Pipeline Spill

Iran has brought a fire caused by an oil pipeline spill under control, local media reported.

An oil pipeline ruptured on Sunday because of a landslide in southwestern Iran, Reuters quoted Iranian officials as telling local news outlets.

The Maroun pipeline carries crude oil to the refinery in Isfahan, which is Iran’s second-largest oil refinery and has the capacity to process 375,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.

“Most of the fire ... has been contained and operations teams are repairing the damaged section of the pipeline,” Qasem Arab Yarmohammadi, who leads the state company in charge of oil pipelines, told the oil ministry’s news agency Shana.

“The fire has been controlled and the oil spillage prevented from spreading,” Khosro Kiani, who is in charge of the area’s crisis management unit, told Iranian news agency IRNA, as carried by Agence France Presse.

This is not the first incident at the oil pipeline, which has seen several other spillages due to erosion or landslides.

Iranian oil infrastructure has also suffered from the U.S. sanctions, which ban foreign firms from cooperating with Iran’s oil industry.

Iran, meanwhile, is getting ready to start expanding its crude oil exports ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration in January in a clear sign it expects better bilateral relations with the U.S. during the next administration.

Iranian authorities seem confident they could be able to sell as much as 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in the next Iranian year that begins in March 2021, according to Iran’s budget bill.  

The bill assumes that Iran will get revenues from the sale of 2.3 million bpd of oil in the year starting in March.

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Iran last exported that much oil in the early spring of 2018, before U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called Iranian nuclear deal, and introduced sanctions on Iran’s oil, shipping, and banking industries.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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