TODAYSZAMAN – New tanker carrying Iraqi Kurdish oil to US: sources

New tanker carrying Iraqi Kurdish oil to US: sourcesA new tanker carrying Kurdish crude oil is on its way to the eastern coast of the US while another is still waiting off the coast of Texas, news outlets reported on Friday, developments making the sale of the disputed Kurdish oil in international markets even more complicated.Bloomberg reported on Friday that a tanker named Minerva Joy had left the port of Drtyol in southern Turkey on July 23 and was due to dock in Paulsboro, New Jersey, on Aug.

11. The news agency cited shipping data compiled via online tracking systems.

If it successfully reaches the US, Minerva will be the sixth vessel carrying Kurdish oil to go to the US this year from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. Two of those shipments appear to have been delivered to the LyondellBasell Industries’ refinery in Houston.

The company said on Thursday that it had “canceled further purchases and will not accept delivery of any of the affected crude until an ownership dispute is appropriately resolved.” Efforts by Iraqi Kurdistan to boost its finances through bulk oil sales suffered a setback on Thursday as its main US customer swore off more purchases, with Baghdad vowing to block the export of further oil from the KRG.

A $100-million cargo of crude oil in the tanker United Kalavrvta has been anchored in the Gulf of Mexico since Saturday.On Tuesday a US court ordered that the cargo be seized if the oil is taken ashore.

Despite the trouble that the KRG has had moving crude to buyers, a fifth ship being loaded at the port of Ceyhan on Thursday was scheduled to sail on Friday. The KRG claims that control over its region’s oil is crucial for its ambition of independence and necessary because Baghdad has responded weakly to Islamist militants who overran parts of the country in recent months.

Washington has refused to support commercial sales, saying the oil belongs to all Iraqis.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman