BASRA, Iraq – Saboteurs blew up a pipeline in southern Iraq on Sunday in the latest attack targeting the country's crucial oil industry, a senior oil official said.
The explosion occurred in al-Radgha, about 30 miles southwest of Basra (search), an official at the state-run South Oil Co. said on condition of anonymity.
The pipeline, which connects the Rumeila oilfields (search) with export storage tanks in the Faw peninsula, was ablaze after the attack and emergency workers were struggling to put the fire out, the official said.
Insurgents have launched repeated attacks on Iraq's vital oil industry in a bid to undermine the interim government and reconstruction efforts.
On Saturday, insurgents blew up another pipeline in the West Qurna oilfields, about 90 miles north of Basra.
Also Saturday, a domestic oil pipeline in Nahrawan (search), a desert region 20 miles east of Baghdad, was ablaze, though oil officials could not confirm if the fire was the result of sabotage. The pipeline carries oil to the Dora refinery near the capital.
It was unclear how the latest attack would affect exports out of the south, which have already fallen to about 900,000 barrels a day — about half the normal average of 1.8 million barrels a day — after an attack Wednesday on a cluster of pipelines linked to the Rumeila oilfields.