Ankara to tighten security on pipelines

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Published: Sept. 27, 2010 at 7:18 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Ankara will deploy national and private security forces to protect oil and gas pipelines running through the country, the Turkish energy minister said.

Militants with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, have frequently made oil and gas pipelines in Turkey a target of attacks.

An August explosion in the province of Agri in eastern Turkey forced authorities to shut down a natural gas pipeline from Iran.

Turkish authorities blamed the PKK for a July 21 attack on a separate section of the same pipeline. Both countries are fighting Kurdish militants along their shared border.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Ankara was taking measures to ensure oil and gas pipelines in his country were secure.

“Increased security measures will be taken for pipelines by both private security firms and the armed forces,” he was quoted by the online Oil and Gas Journal as saying.

His announcement follows a deal with Baghdad to extend the terms for the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline for another 15 years.

Iraq could export another 1 million barrels of oil per day through its northern transit networks under the terms of the deal.

Around 500,000 barrels per day are moved through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline. Construction of a second pipeline may be needed as Iraqi oil production increases, the Turkish energy minister added.

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