DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fires ripped through an oil well in southwestern Iran on Tuesday, state TV reported, blaming “unknown” saboteurs for causing the blaze.
The oil well in Iran's restive Khuzestan province burned as a result of “manipulation by unknown individuals," state TV quoted oil official Ghobad Nasseri as saying. He did not report any casualties or elaborate on the alleged interference, but Khuzestan has previously seen attacks on its crucial oil facilities. State TV showed footage of black smoke billowing from the damaged well.
The province is home to an ethnic Arab population that complains of discrimination and includes an aggressive separatist movement.
Authorities were working to control the damaged well and restore production, Nasseri added. Iran's southern Shadegan oil field started production in 1987 and pumps out 110,000 barrels of oil a day.