Azeri gas flow to Turkey expected soon

June 8, 2012 at 7:41 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 8 (UPI) -- Natural gas deliveries through the South Caucasus pipeline, closed following an explosion, could resume this week, Azeri officials said.

Authorities at Turkish pipeline company BOTAS reported an explosion occurred May 29 near the border with Azerbaijan, forcing the suspension of transit of natural gas through the South Caucasus pipeline.

BOTAS authorities had said repairs could take as long as a week. Rovnaq Abdullayev, president of the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, said deliveries through the pipeline were expected soon, Bloomberg News reports.

BOTAS authorities had said the cause of the explosion was unknown. Later, it was suspected that the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, was behind the blast. There were no immediate claims of responsibility, though the PKK have targeted pipeline infrastructure in the past.

A contract between Turkey and Azerbaijan outlines the delivery of 233 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea per year through the pipeline.

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