Unknown gunmen bombed a major oil pipeline in northern Iraq, halting the country's oil exports to the port of Ceyhan, southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, an Iraqi official said on Tuesday.
The attack took place early in the morning when insurgents blew up the oil pipeline near the village of Albu-Jahash in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, the official from state-run North Oil Company (NOC) said.
The blast struck the main pipeline that transport crude oil from Iraq's largest refinery in the town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, northward to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, the official said.
"The oil pumping in the pipeline has been halted, but the oil production in the northern oil fields is continuing, as the extracted crude oil is stored instead of exported," the official added.
Teams from NOC are working to repair the damage, which is expected to take one to three days, he said.
Iraq's oil pipelines have been frequently attacked by insurgents since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Iraq exports 500,000 to 600,000 barrels of oil per day from the northern oil fields of Kirkuk. The country depends on oil revenues for nearly 95 percent of its budget.