Iraqi Kurdistan said it was suspending oil exports through Turkey as a precaution after a deadly earthquake rocked its northern neighbor and Syria before dawn on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Due to the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, and to ensure the safety of oil exports and prevent any undesirable incidents, oil exports through the pipeline connecting the Kurdistan region to Turkey have been suspended,” the Kurdish ministry of natural resources said in a statement.
The autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq usually exports around 450,000 barrels of oil a day through Turkey.
It has continued to pump oil out of the country despite the federal authorities demanding a halt to the trade.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government confirms the halt of oil exportation through #Turkey’s Ceyhan due to the #earthquake that struck several areas in the country,” tweeted Lawk Ghafuri, head of foreign media relations in Kurdistan.
“The exportation will resume after careful inspection of the pipelines is finalized.”
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and neighboring Syria on Monday, killing more than 1,000 people and causing widespread damage, with tremors felt as far away as Egypt and Iraq.
It was followed by a second magnitude 7.5 earthquake a few hours later.
The tremors also halted operations at Turkey’s oil terminal in Ceyhan. Turkish pipeline operator BOTAŞ said there was no damage on main pipelines which carry crude oil from Iraq and Azerbaijan to Turkey. An emergency meeting will take place on the issue, the Tribeca shipping agency said. In a notice, Tribeca said ports in southeastern Turkey are affected by the quake and that delays in operations are reported.