November 7, 2008

Pipeline Blast Causes Oil Spill in Turkey

A pipeline explosion caused by pressure problems left a large oil slick along the Turkey-Iraq border, Turkish officials say.

Yusuf Yavascan, the governor of Turkey's Sanliurfa province, said sabotage had been ruled out as the cause of the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline blast this week, Today's Zaman said Friday.

The oil leaked into a stream near a lake formed by the nearby Ataterk Dam, officials said.

"We are not talking about sabotage. Our examinations revealed that the pipeline ruptured internally because of the pressure," Yavascan said the Wednesday blast and ensuing oil leak into an area stream.

Turkish officials said a sudden change in pressure inside the pipeline caused a major explosion of crude oil to occur. Workers with the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corp. immediately closed off valves to prevent additional spills.

Workers attempted to limit the spread of oil that escaped to protect water supplies in the area.