Reuters: Iran’s parliament is to examine recent energy pipeline explosions to see to what extent sabotage or technical problems were to blame, a lawmaker said on Sunday, two days after an oil line blast which caused a jump in global crude prices.
TEHRAN Aug 7 (Reuters) – Iran’s parliament is to examine recent energy pipeline explosions to see to what extent sabotage or technical problems were to blame, a lawmaker said on Sunday, two days after an oil line blast which caused a jump in global crude prices.
“Since the start of the (Iranian) year, we have witnessed the emergence of incidents such as explosions and fires at domestic and export pipeline networks,” Emad Hosseini, spokesman of parliament’s energy committee, told the ISNA news agency.
“Certainly these incidents have not been all unintentional.”
The cause of Friday’s explosion, in Iran’s oil rich southwestern Khuzestan province, has still not been determined. Officials said the line had been repaired by Sunday.
A news report that wrongly said the pipeline was the biggest in Iran caused a temporary spike in oil prices as traders feared possible militant action that could hurt output from the world’s fifth biggest exporter.
Several armed groups hostile to the government are active in Iran, including Kurdish separatists in the northwest, Baluch militants in the southeast and some Arabs in the southwest.
“The cause of the outbreak of some problems at the pipeline network are operations by terrorist groups but others are unclear,” Hosseini said.
“The issue of pipeline corrosion is a culprit in such incidents (as well).”
Iran’s standoff with the West over its nuclear programme and the subsequent sanctions has deprived the Islamic state of foreign investment and technology to modernize the oil industry. (Writing by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Mike Nesbit)