Firefighters have extinguished a massive fire that raged for more than ten hours after a major oil pipeline exploded in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported. The explosion occurred at 1:30 AM local time on Friday near the town of Qale Naar at Qala Naar-Ahvaz pipeline. The 20-inch pipeline carries 4,000 barrels a day.
“The production of oil in the southern area is still continuing at full capacity and the oil output from the wells is being transferred to other pipelines,” Hormoz Qalavand, Executive Director of the National Iranian South Oil Company, said [IRNA, 5 August].
Brent oil futures prices jumped on the news of the explosion, and pared some of the increases after Qalavant’s statement. Traders cited fears of terrorism in a major OPEC producer.