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Iraqi oil to Turkey back online soon

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The flow of oil from Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan could resume in the next few days following a shutdown from militant attacks, Turkish officials said.

Militants during the weekend attacked the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline, causing an oil spill and damage to a section of the pipeline in Iraq.

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Officials at the Turkish Energy Ministry said they were reassured by their Iraqi counterparts that damage to the pipeline "could be fixed in 5 to 6 days," Turkey's English-language daily Today's Zaman reports.

The Ceyhan link carried roughly 435,000 barrels of oil per day. Assem Jihad, the spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry, called on U.S. and coalition forces to step up regional patrols.

"We are asking the multinational forces to carry out more patrols to protect the pipeline, which was sabotaged for the fourth time in six weeks," he said.

The attack follows relative calm in the region, though oil pipelines have been targeted frequently since October.

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