Tehran: A blast early today hit a
pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey, forcing a
cut in supply, an Iranian oil official said.
"The export of gas to Turkey has been temporarily
halted after an explosion struck the pipeline" in northwestern
Iran, spokesman for National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Majid
Boujarzadeh told the oil ministry`s news agency SHANA.
According to Boujarzadeh, the explosion occurred
near the Bazargan border crossing, in Iran`s West Azarbaijan
He said an investigation had been launched into the
cause of the blast.
Boujarzadeh said repair work on the pipeline was
under way and expressed hope for a speedy resumption of the
It is not the first time gas supplies to Turkey
have been disrupted; in August 2010, the pipeline was damaged
in a blast blamed on separatist armed Kurdish rebels.
Iran, which has the second largest proven gas
reserves in the world after Russia, exports about 30 million
cubic metres of gas to Turkey annually, according to deputy
oil minister and chairman of the NIGC, Javad Ouji.