Iran controls fire at southern oilfield after apparent sabotage

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Iran on Tuesday brought under control a fire at its Shadegan oilfield which was caused by an apparent act of sabotage, a local oil company official told state television.

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The fire was caused early on Tuesday after “tampering by unknown elements,” but it was quickly brought under control, Qobad Nasseri, head of the Maroon Oil and Gas Production Company which exploits Shadegan, told state television.

The oilfield is located in the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, home to Iran’s Arab minority, which has long been the scene of anti-government unrest.

Attacks are rare in Iran, but a number of sensitive military and nuclear sites have been targeted in recent years.

Iran has accused Israel of several attacks on facilities and scientists linked to its nuclear program. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.

Nasseri said: “The situation is completely under control and there is no cause for concern... The damage is being evaluated but the field will return to production shortly.”

The fire apparently occurred at one of some 20 active wells in the Shadegan field, which has an estimated total production capacity of about 70,000 barrels per day.

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