DUBAI – Firefighters were working to put out a blaze after a pipeline carrying crude oil to Iran’s second largest refinery ruptured and burst into flames on Sunday, Iranian news agencies reported.
“The fire has not been contained but is under control. Its smoke is irritating, but it is not enough to injure anyone, and flames have not reached people’s homes,” Khosro Kiani, an emergency official in southwestern Iran, where the blaze occurred, told the semi-official news agency Tasnim.
Kiani said the oil had spilled down a hard-to-access valley, which firefighting equipment could not reach.
The oil ministry’s news agency SHANA said repair teams had shut off the Maroun pipeline, which feeds the Isfahan refinery, Iran’s second largest with a capacity of about 375,000 barrels per day.
Iran’s ageing oil infrastructure has been long 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, the state news agency IRNA reported.