September 10, 2007 / 8:02 AM / in 11 years

UPDATE 1-Iran-Turkey pipeline blast cuts gas flow -source

(Adds details, background, quote)

ANKARA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - A large explosion on a pipeline bringing natural gas from Iran to Turkey halted supplies late on Sunday, a Turkish energy official said.

Officials hoped to resume full gas flows by Tuesday, he told Reuters on Monday.

He said the cause of the explosion was not immediately known.

“An explosion has occurred 5 km (3 miles) inside Turkey and the gas flow has been stopped,” said the official, who declined to be named.

Iran is Turkey’s second biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia.

Officials were working to fix the damaged portion of the pipeline on Monday morning, he said, adding that they hoped to resume the flow of gas within the day.

“Efforts have been started to repair the damaged 35-metre area ... Tomorrow morning the pipeline is expected to carry its normal capacity,” he said.

Sabotage is common on pipelines leading into Turkey from Iran and Iraq, where Kurdish militants are based.

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