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Iraqi oil shipments resume to Turkey

/ Source: The Associated Press

Iraqi engineers said Wednesday they had resumed pumping crude oil through an export pipeline damaged by insurgents last month.

The Kirkuk-to-Ceyhan pipeline _ linking Iraq's northern oil fields with the Turkish port _ was brought back into service Wednesday, said an engineer with the North Oil Company, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Officials with the Iraqi Oil Ministry and the Northern Oil Company could not immediately be reached for comment. Officials with the State Oil Marketing Organization, which oversees distribution of crude oil, said they were unaware the pipeline was back up.

Iraqi and coalition officials are often reluctant to discuss pipeline operations because of security.

Insurgents attacked the pipeline last month in a bid to cut off the new interim government's key source of reconstruction revenue following the June 30 handover of power. Since last August, the pipeline, which has 250,000 barrel-a-day capacity, has operated only sporadically because of repeated attacks.

Oil workers in southern Iraq are still laboring to restore shipments through one of two export pipelines damaged in attacks last week. One line was brought back into service on Monday, allowing some exports from the country's main terminals in the south.

On Monday, saboteurs also struck a crude oil pipeline that feeds Baghdad's Dora oil refinery. The plant produces gasoline, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas for the domestic market.