Pumping halts along Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline: traders

London (Platts)--21 Aug 2013 655 am EDT/1055 GMT

Pumping halted along the Iraq-Turkey crude oil export pipeline overnight, traders and shipping sources said Wednesday.

The pipeline -- which sends crude oil from the Kirkuk oil field in northern Iraq for loading out of the Turkish port of Ceyhan -- has been the target of repeated sabotage attacks, reportedly leaving the line in a poor state of repair.

"The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline stopped working at midnight," a port agent said. "There are rumors that the pipeline has been sabotaged again. However, it remains unconfirmed at the moment."

European crude traders said pumping along the line is expected to restart on Wednesday evening.

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Shipping sources said that vessel loadings at the Botas terminal in Ceyhan appear to have paused during the pipeline outage.

"There are eight ships anchored at the moment, and I don't think there are enough cargoes to load the ships," the port agent added.

The pipeline to Turkey has been averaging around 300,000 b/d when it is online. It has a nameplate of nearly 1.6 million b/d capacity but disrepair, frequent attacks and field production problems have scaled back real capacity.

--Paula VanLaningham, paula.vanlaningham@platts.com
--Shubhlakshmi Shukla, shubhlakshmi.shukla@platts.com
--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@platts.com

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