KIRKUK, Iraq, June 9 Two bombs exploded on
Saturday close to minor oil pipelines carrying crude from a
major oilfield near Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk, according to
security and oil sources who said exports to the Ceyhan port in
Turkey were not affected.
The attack occurred near pipelines which carry oil from Bai
Hassan oilfield to a degassing station in Kirkuk, an oil
ministry spokesman and officials at state-run North Oil Company
"Two bombs blew up near two oil wells in Bai Hassan oilfield
without causing a fire. We are assessing the damage and a
technical crew has started repairs. Exports were not affected,"
Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the oil ministry, said.
The explosion occurred early on Saturday and was caused by
bombs placed under two oil pipelines around 45 km (25 miles)
northwest of the oil city, an oil police official in Kirkuk
"We managed to defuse four more bombs in the same area," the
official said on condition of anonymity.
Energy installations are frequently targeted by insurgents
more than nine years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that
ousted Saddam Hussein.
The bulk of Iraq's oil is exported from the southern
terminals of Basra but around 400,000-450,000 barrels - a
quarter of all exports - is pumped through the strategic
Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to Ceyhan port in Turkey.
The pipeline has a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day.
(Reporting by Mustafa Mahmoud; Additional reporting and writing
by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Serena Chaudhry and Robin Pomeroy)