Pipeline blast halts Iran gas exports to Turkey

Business Materials 26 August 2010 12:49 (UTC +04:00)

An explosion hit a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey Tuesday night, causing a halt in natural gas flow.

It could take up to a week to resume after repairs are completed, officials at the Turkish pipeline operator Botas said on Wednesday.

"The fire has been extinguished, and repair work is ongoing," one official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another Botas official said the blast, the cause of which was not immediately clear, occurred late on Tuesday. Repairs could take six to seven days to be completed, he said.

Officials did not say on which side of the border the blast occurred.

It was the second time over a month that an explosion halted gas imports from Iran to its neighboring state.

Suspected PKK militants blew up a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey in July, forcing the shutdown of the conduit.

Iran is Turkey's second-biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia, sending 10 billion cubic meters of gas each year. Turkey uses gas to fire half of its power plants.