29 July 2015, News Wires – The pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey has been halted after an attack resulted in an explosion in Turkey’s eastern province of Agri.
No injuries were reported following the blast on Monday, however, officials at state gas company Botas said that “repairs were under way but it was not clear when the gas flow would resume”.
“An explosion occurred as a result of sabotage about 15 kilometres inside the Turkish border on the Turkey-Iran gas pipeline,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said in a statement.
The blast caused a fire that was swiftly put out.
The pipeline carries around 10 billion cubic metres of Iranian gas to Turkey per year, as Iran is the second gas provider for Turkey after Russia.
Turkey did not request additional gas from other countries following the explosion, as there was no shortage in meeting domestic demand, according to a Botas official, Reuters said.
Meanwhile, according to reports in the local Turkish press the attack resembled those of the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK), who struck the pipeline before.
However, there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Turkey launched air strikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq last week, which has also included bombing Islamic State militants in northern Syria.
The actions came as a response to the most recent attack by Islamic State militants in the south-western Turkish town of Suruc, which claimed the lives of at least 32 people, on 20 July.
Since last week, armed attacks on police and gendarmerie in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish south-east, crisscrossed by several energy pipelines, have increased sharply.