Six improvised-explosive devices (IEDs), which had been planted on a part of the Kirkuk–Ceyhan oil pipeline passing near Iraq’s Mosul, exploded causing a major fire, an Iraqi security official announced on July 3 afternoon.
The Iraq–Turkey crude oil pipeline is a 970 km long pipeline that runs from Kirkuk in Iraq to Ceyhan in Turkey. It is Iraq’s largest crude oil export line with a capacity of 1,600 thousand barrels per day.
The Iraqi official said that firefighters contained the situation and put out the fire at the Kirkuk–Ceyhan oil pipeline in a short period.
This was not the first attack on the Iraqi oil sector. Last month, a rocket struck the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra, which is home to a number of international oil giants, including US firm ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and Italian Eni SpA.
While the unusual incident could be related to the current tension between the U.S. and Iran, the possibility of a terrorist attack remains high. ISIS cells are known to be very active in western Iraq, especially south of Mosul, where the IEDs were planted.