Iraqi Kurdistan's Texas oil tanker unloads in Israel

By REUTERS
February 27, 2015 18:33

 
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An oil tanker from Iraqi Kurdistan that was blocked for months from unloading in Texas by a Baghdad legal challenge has sailed back to the Mediterranean and delivered its cargo to Israel, according to trading sources and ship-tracking data.

The United Kalvrvta tanker, carrying 1 million barrels of crude from the semi-autonomous region, became embroiled in a legal dispute in Texas last July after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) looked to ramp up independent oil shipments.

The Iraqi central government challenged the sales, branding them illegal. The KRG protested that independent sales were allowed under Iraq's constitution.

The tanker spent several months off the coast of Texas after Baghdad tried to have a US court seize the oil. The ship eventually set sail from Texas in late January, shortly after Baghdad and the KRG agreed a temporary deal on oil sales.

Ship-tracking data this week showed the tanker sailing fully-laden towards the Israeli port of Ashkelon before its satellite transponder was turned off on Feb 22.

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