Iran fights fire in southwest after oil pipeline spill - reports


Firefighters have contained most of a blaze that broke out after a pipeline carrying crude oil to Iran's second-largest refinery ruptured on Sunday because of a landslide, the head of the state company in charge of oil pipelines said.

"Most of the fire ... has been contained and operations teams are repairing the damaged section of the pipeline," said Qasem Arab Yarmohammadi, chief executive of the Iranian Oil Pipeline and Telecommunications Company, adding that landslides have a long history in this area.

Khosro Kiani, an emergency official in southwestern Iran, where the blaze occurred, said earlier that the oil had spilled down a hard-to-access valley, which firefighting equipment could not reach, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported.

The damaged Maroun pipeline feeds the Isfahan refinery, which has a capacity of about 375,000 barrels per day.

Iran's aging oil infrastructure has long been in need of rehabilitation, as refurbishment plans have been delayed by Western sanctions and local bureaucracy, analysts say.

There have been several earlier instances of spillage from the pipeline that have adversely affected the region's agriculture and fishing, according to the state news agency IRNA.

(With input from Reuters)


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