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Syrian Oil Pipeline Hit by Explosion, SANA News Agency Reports

Gunmen blew up a crude-oil pipeline in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, Syrian Arab News Agency reported, citing Oil Ministry officials.

The 24-inch pipeline was attacked by “an armed terrorist group” late yesterday in the Ain Ali area south of the village of al-Quriya, according to SANA. The explosion didn’t affect production as the company directed crude flow into an alternative pipeline network, it said.

The pipeline transports crude from the Al-Omar oilfield, operated by state-run Al Furat Petroleum Co., to the T2 station. Workers have begun repairs and are due to resume sending oil through the network within days, according to the report.

Syria’s energy industry has been targeted by more than 40 attacks since the outbreak of protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, Oil Minister Sufian Alao said April 30. The government has also lost $3 billion in revenue since the European Union’s decision to stop importing the nation’s crude last year as it expanded sanctions against the Assad regime for its crackdown on protesters, Alao said.

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