Blast Hits Iran-Turkey Gas Pipeline, Cutting Supplies
A blast early Friday 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 Azerbaijan province.
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 gas flow.
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 meters of gas to Turkey annually, according to deputy oil minister and chairman of the NIGC, Javad Ouji.