Kurdish crude cargo aboard tanker off Texas to be seized
Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish government is attempting to sell crude oil from its territory and wants to become independent from the Iraqi central government (see our previous news on this topic). However, Iraq insistently continues to prevent the Kurdish sales and and sees the Kurdish business as smuggling. The current delivery of the Kurdish crude oil to the USA has failed as Iraq laid claim to the cargo:
The U.S. Marshals Service has been ordered by a U.S. judge to confiscate the Kurdish crude oil cargo aboard the tanker UNITED KALAVRVTA due to the filing in a Texas court from the Iraqi central government.
The oil tanker UNITED KALAVRVTA is currently anchored 60 miles off Galveston and since its arrival on Saturday the 26th was waiting to unload its cargo. The vessel has on board 1 million barrels of the Kurdish crude oil, which would fetch about $100 million. The UNITED KALAVRVTA with its draft of 16.3 meters is to large to enter the Houston Ship Channel and to dock. Therefore the U.S. Coast Guard initially gave order to offload the cargo to smaller ships that would deliver the cargo to the U.S. mainland.
But on Monday the 28th of July the Iraqi central government filed a suit in a Texas court complaining that the crude oil cargo aboard the tanker was sold by the Kurdistan Regional Government without a permission from Iraq. As stated by a U.S. judge the cargo has to be seized and the vessel is allowed to continue its movement after the crude oil is offloaded.
The UNITED KALAVRVTA's track while carrying the Kurdish crude oil to a U.S. buyer across the North Atlantic Ocean provided on the base of FleetMon's satellite AIS data: