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Iraq resumes Kirkuk oil flows after halt

Exports halted since Saturday.

August 25, 2010 9:04 by

Iraq resumed crude pumping through its northern Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which carries a quarter of Iraq’s oil exports, after a halt for days, sources at Iraq’s North Oil Co said on Tuesday.

“We resumed test pumping this evening and if there is no problem in the pipe in the next 24 hours, we will start pumping at normal rates,” one source said, asking not to be identified.

Another source confirmed pumping resumed after repairing a rupture, which halted the flow of crude since Saturday.

The key energy corridor, which carries Iraqi crude from the Kirkuk oilfields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, has been repeatedly targeted by suspected insurgents in recent months and has suffered technical faults that halted pumping.

A bomb attack earlier this month blamed by Turkey on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) halted the flow for two days. Two people were killed in the explosion, which started a fire.

(Reporting by Mustafa Mahmoud; Writing by Rania El Gamal)

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