Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) An oil pipeline exploded early on Wednesday in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Province. The fire has not been controlled yet.
“Flames of fire occurred as an oil pipeline passing between villages of Drkai Arab and Sartika, in Sargaran district,”Gen Sarhad Qader, head of suburban police told Rudaw.
“Attempts to put off the fire are ongoing as it is expected to totally extinguish it by the evening,” he added.
Iraq is the second-largest producer and member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) after Saudi Arabia. Home to a large number of oilfields, Kirkuk exports oil through the Mediterranean seaport of Ceyhan in Turkey. However, oil fields in Kirkuk have always been a target for militant groups.
￼Kirkuk is one area where Kurdistan region disputes sovereignty with Iraq. Two oil fields in the province are under the control of the Kurdistan Region, while three others are run by the Iraqi government’s North Oil Company (NOC).
The Iraqi government have been repeatedly urged to expedite security efforts to liberate regions held by Islamic State in Kirkuk, but the government is currently employing its full military power to retake Mosul, IS’s biggest stronghold in Iraq.
The Iraqi government is expected to launch an offensive to retake IS-held areas in Kirkuk once it is done with eradicating IS from Mosul, the group’s biggest bastion in Iraq.