Iranian gas flow to Turkey has been halted due to an explosion on the pipeline in Turkey overnight and repairs have been started which will take one week, the Turkish energy ministry said Friday.
“Work continues to put out the fire,” the governor’s office in Agri province said in a statement quoted by Anatolia news agency.
“It has been established that the incident was caused by a terrorist attack,” around 11:10 pm (2010 GMT) Thursday, it added.
Anatolia said an explosion rocked the region two kilometers (1.2 miles) from Agri, causing the fire.
Firefighters were sent to the site and the pipeline was shut off.
An energy ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity said that repairs on the pipeline had started and would last about a week. He said Turkey was buying additional gas from Azerbaijan and Russia to cover the shortfall caused by the explosion.
Turkey receives between 15 and 18 billion cubic meters of gas a day via the Iranian pipeline which links the western city of Tabriz with the Turkish capital.
The governor’s office did not identify any perpetrators but Kurdish rebels fighting for a homeland were widely seen as the main suspects.
Rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are regarded as terrorists by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
The nationalists want constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
The Turkish army holds the PKK responsible for the 45,000 deaths the conflict has caused on both sides.
Iran is Turkey’s second-biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia, sending 10 billion cubic meters of gas each year. Turkey uses gas to fire half of its power plants.
Late last month, gas exports from Iran to Turkey were briefly halted due to a blast. The pipeline was swiftly repaired and gas flows were resumed a day later.
The PKK has claimed two separate attacks on the pipeline on August 3.