Explosion Hits Shah Deniz Gas Pipeline in Northeast Turkey


ANKARA, Aug 4 (Reuters) – An explosion hit Turkey's Shah Deniz pipeline carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan early on Tuesday but there was no impact on supply because the flow was already suspended for maintenance, a senior Turkish energy official said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, but it comes days after an attack by the PKK Kurdish militant group halted the flow in a pipeline carrying crude oil to Turkey from Iraq.

The explosion on the Shah Deniz pipeline took place in Turkey's Posof province near the Georgian border.

British oil major BP said on Monday it had suspended operations on the Shah Deniz platform in the Caspian Sea as well as the Shah Deniz facility inside the Sangachal terminal for planned maintenance from Aug. 2.

Shah Deniz, Azerbaijan's biggest gas field, is being developed by partners including BP, Norway's Statoil, Azeri state energy company SOCAR and others.

The PKK attack on the oil pipeline from Iraq came amid a wider surge in violence by the PKK, which has targeted Turkish security forces and infrastructure. Turkey launched air strikes against PKK camps in northern Iraq just over a week ago.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall)


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