March 27, 2008

Moqtada al-Sadr Fighters Sabotage Iraqi Oil Pipeline, Crude Spikes on News

07:12 03/27 (CEP News) London – Fighters loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have sabotaged the Zubair I pipeline, one of Iraq’s two main routes for crude supply located in the outskirts of the port city of Basra, a spokesperson for the Southern Oil Company (SOC) said on Thursday.

Speaking to CEP News, he said, "The pipeline has not been blown up, but has suffered considerable structural damage which will block oil supply via it for three to four days, thats after a fire there is brought under control. It is thought that saboteurs damaged the underside of the pipeline by placing some kind of explosives beneath it and then detonated them."

The spokesperson said the pipeline’s capacity was 1.54 million barrels per day and it accounted for 32% of the crude reaching Barsa port in recent days.

Meanwhile, price of crude spiked yet again on news of the incident as heavy fighting between government and Sadr Militia shows no signs of abating. At 10:05 a.m. GMT on Thursday, London’s Brent crude for May delivery was up 98 cents at $104.97 per barrel while New York’s West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery was up $1.14 at $107.04 per barrel.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki gave Shia militants in Basra 72 hours to lay down their arms or face "severe penalties". Sadr Militia, known locally as the Mehdi Army, have not yet claimed responsibility for Thursday's pipeline incident, according to the BBC.

By Gaurav Sharma,,

edited by Nancy Girgis,

(END) ©CEP Newswires - ©CEP News Ltd. 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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