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Terrorist Attack Halts Iranian Natural Gas Exports To Turkey

Iran’s natural gas exports to Turkey were suspended early on Tuesday local time after a pipeline explosion occurred on Turkey’s territory near the Iranian border.

According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, some sources reported that the blast was the result of a terrorist attack, and it was unclear when Iran’s natural gas exports to Turkey could resume.  

An Iranian official told Iran’s state television that it was a terrorist attack that led to the explosion of the pipeline.

“This morning, terrorists attacked a natural gas pipeline inside Turkey near Iran’s Bazargan border with Turkey ... Flow of gas has been halted,” Mehdi Jamshidi Dana, Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) in charge of dispatching, told state TV, as carried by Reuters.

According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, several explosions occurred at the natural gas pipeline on Turkish soil. It was likely that PKK, Kurdistan’s Workers Party, was responsible for the blast, Dana told IRNA.

The pipeline moves around 10 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas to Turkey every year. It has been the target of attack by Kurdish militants between the 1990s and 2013, when the parties agreed on a ceasefire, according to IRNA.

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Turkey also confirmed a blast had occurred on the pipeline, with the Anadolu Agency reporting that the fire was extinguished and the military had secured the area near the Gurbulak border crossing, known as Bazargan in Iran. According to Turkish media and Al Jazeera, an investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the explosion.

According to Iranian media, Iran will soon resume exports of natural gas to Turkey.

“The damaged part of Iran’s gas export pipeline to Turkey will be repaired within the next few days,” NIGC’s Mehdi Jamshidi Dana told the Iranian oil ministry’s news service, Shana.

Typically, such repair work takes between three and seven days, depending on the damage, Dana said.     

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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