Pipeline to Turkey shut off again

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A sabotage attack on Iraq’s northern pipeline is expected to keep oil exports through Turkey at a standstill for another two to three weeks, an oil official said yesterday. A bomb blew off a section of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline in the Fatha area near Baiji on Monday, soon after crews had finished repairing damage to the line in the same area from a previous blast, the official said. «We don’t see hope of resuming northern exports for another 15-20 days,» said the official who is familiar with repairs to the line. Iraqi oil officials were hoping to restart the line, which has been idle since a sabotage attack on Dec. 18, after a major Muslim holiday next week. Senior oil official Dhiaa al-Bakkaa has said Iraq could export 250,000 barrels per day from the north if the attacks stopped, but sabotage has been relentless. Iraq is exporting around 1.5 million bpd from its southern Basra terminal in the Gulf.