Kurdistan resumes shipping oil to US after three years
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – An oil tanker loaded with the Kurdistan Region’s crude oil is reportedly on route to the US after a three-year pause due to Erbil-Baghdad row.
AnAframax tanker called Neverland, carrying a large amount of Kurdistan Region’s crude oil, left the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday.
A week ago, it had left the Turkish port of Ceyhan where the crude is transported through a pipeline from Kurdistan oil fields.
“The Neverland, which normally hauls about 650,000 barrels, exited the Mediterranean Sea two days ago, according to vessel tracking data,” Bloomberg reported.
Following the cut of the Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget by Baghdad, the Region started exporting crude oil independently, a move strongly opposed by the Iraqi government.
The dispute escalated when Kurdistan’s deliveries to the US were blocked and Iraqi government threatened to take action against companies transporting the Region’s crude.
“The Neverland’s tracks show it to be heading toward the U.S. East Coast, though it could still go elsewhere. Despite going close to full speed at 13 knots, the vessel’s destination is noted by its crew as 'for orders,' a designation for ships that haven’t been given definitive sailing instructions,” the report added.
In 2014, United Kalavryta tanker which loaded around 1 million barrels of Kurdistan oil was blocked from unloading its cargo following a Houston federal court decision upon a lawsuit filed by the Iraqi government.
Editing by Ava Homa