by Staff Writers
Kirkuk, Iraq (AFP) Jan 02, 2014
Militants bombed a major oil pipeline in northern Iraq on Thursday, causing a fire and forcing pumping to be suspended, an official from the North Oil Company said.
Blasts hit the pipeline, which runs to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, in Salaheddin province to the north of Baghdad, the official said, adding that the fire was extinguished and repairs had begun.
Militants frequently attack the pipeline, which ferries a significant portion of Iraq's oil exports to international markets.
Iraq is heavily dependent on oil exports, and the government is seeking to dramatically ramp up its sales in the coming years to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.
Officials are aiming to increase production capacity to nine million barrels per day by 2017, a target that the International Monetary Fund and International Energy Agency have warned is over-optimistic.
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