A number of explosions have hit important energy pipelines in eastern and southeastern Turkey over the past month. Unless the required measures are taken to halt such attacks, they will have a devastating impact on Turkey’s strategic target of becoming a reliable energy corridor or energy hub in the future.
The Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline was attacked in the southeastern province of Şırnak at the end of July. To understand the costs, let’s remember the written statement issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of northern Iraq, which condemned the attack. The KRG stated that repeated attempted thefts and sabotage attacks on the pipelines – which carry crude oil from the KRG to the Turkish port of Ceyhan – since July 27, have led to an almost complete stoppage in the flow of crude oil, costing around $250 million.
Saboteurs then attacked a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey in the eastern province of Ağrı on July 28. The pipeline, which carries 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Iranian gas across the border to Turkey annually, frequently came under attack from Kurdish militants during the 1990s. Another explosion hit the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars-Erzurum gas pipeline, which carries around 6 bcm of Azeri gas to Turkey annually, in the early hours of Aug. 4.
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