Turkey has halted crude-oil flows to the Ceyhan export terminal on the Mediterranean coast as a precaution following a devastating earthquake, according to an official with knowledge of the matter.
State pipeline operator Botas made the decision on Monday morning after an earthquake in eastern Turkey, which was followed hours later by another. The two quakes have killed more than 1,000 people in Turkey and Syria and damaged masses of buildings and infrastructure.
Crude prices rose on Monday, partly because of Ceyhan’s suspension. It’s a vital hub for oil sales from northern Iraq and from Azerbaijan. The port exported over 1 million barrels a day in January, or 1% of global supplies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
There were no leaks detected on the pipelines feeding the port, the official said, asking not to be identified.
Iraq stopped shipments from Ceyhan, both those controlled by Baghdad and those by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. The Kurdish administration said loadings would resume after safety checks on pipelines.
Ceyhan’s oil is mostly sent to European refineries.
The first earthquake — with a 7.7 magnitude — struck the Turkish city of Gaziantep and was felt as far away as Cyprus and Egypt. The second, 7.5-magnitude quake was felt in the Turkish capital Ankara, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) away.
--With assistance from Julian Lee and Patrick Sykes.
(Updates with Iraqi stopping oil flows to Ceyhan.)
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