By Eric Watkins
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Dec. 7 -- Authorities have extinguished a fire that broke out in an oil pipeline supplying the Al-Musayyib power plant, south of Baghdad, as a result of sabotage.
Mu'ayyad al-Shammari, power plant oil supply manager, said unidentified persons on Nov. 30 blew up the supply pipeline running from Karbala, 3 km from Al-Musayyib. Al-Shammari was unable to evaluate the damage to the power plant, one of the biggest in Iraq.
Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir al-Ghadban assessed the losses resulting from sabotage of the oil installations at $7 billion from August 2003 through October 2004.
In a news release, he said sabotage operations have increased in an alarming manner and have become particularly dangerous with the targeting of oil wells.
Six oil wells in Khabbaz oil field, west of Kirkuk, continued burning in early December as a result of sabotage, and the process of extinguishing the fires was expected to take several weeks, experts said.