On March 31st, Iranian gas export to Turkey stopped due to pipeline explosion, according to Director of National Iranian Gas Company in charge of dispatching Mehdi Jamshidi Dana.
He further said that the pipeline had exploded several times in the past, and it was mostly due to efforts by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), and that this time it is also likely that the group has carried out the blast.
He added that the explosion occurred near the Iranian border and stopped gas exports to Turkey from 06:50 morning and the Turkish side has not been responsive to it so far.
Jamshidi Dana noted that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Turkish border guards at Bazargan post have left, “but we have informed them of the explosion and are waiting for their response.”
According to Jamshidi-Dana, Turkey’s representative at Bazargan gas transmission station has left his post due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
“Experience has shown that repairing the lines takes three to seven days, depending on the amount of damage done,” he said.
The explosion was confirmed by Rasool Nourinasab, the head of the Mako gas department in West Azerbaijan, northwest of Iran.
“Following the explosion of the export gas pipeline, relief workers were dispatched to the land border inside Iran, but it turned out to be on Turkish soil,” he said.
Iran is Turkey’s second-biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia. Tehran sells about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas under a 25-year supply deal to Turkey which it uses for electricity generation.
The gas exports are carried out via a 2,577 km (1,601 miles) pipeline running from Tabriz to Ankara.
Turkey is almost 100-percent dependent on fuel imports, with natural gas accounting for nearly 40 percent of the country’s electricity production.
— Amir Tsarfati (@BeholdIsrael) March 31, 2020
There are numerous videos showing the burning following the explosion.
— mina bai (@bai_mina) March 31, 2020
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