Turkey's energy ministry says it has begun repairs to a pipeline transporting crude oil from northern Iraq to the Mediterranean coast.

The ministry said Saturday the delivery of crude oil via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline came to a halt Feb. 17 after it was attacked by militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The PKK launched another attack against the pipeline Thursday near the southeastern town of Idil in Sirnak province.

But the ministry now says "security forces have taken necessary steps to ensure the pipeline's safety ... we expect to restart the oil delivery soon."

The pipeline is a vital source of revenue for the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq and cuts across restive areas of southeastern Turkey where Turkish security forces are trying to route Kurdish militants.