• 4 minutes Oil Price Editorial: Beware Of Saudi Oil Tanker Sabotage Stories
  • 6 minutes UAE says four vessels subjected to 'sabotage' near Fujairah port
  • 13 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 15 minutes Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 32 mins Trump bogged down in Mideast quagmire. US spent $Trillions, lost Thousands of lives, and lost goodwill. FOR WHAT? US interests ? WHAT INTEREST ? . . . . China greatest threat next 50 years.
  • 4 mins CLIMATE PANIC! ELEVENTY!!! "250,000 people die a year due to the climate crisis"
  • 2 hours Why is Strait of Hormuz the World's Most Important Oil Artery
  • 1 min Another surprise 'build'
  • 3 hours Struggle For Supremacy: Kremlin Condemns Alleged U.S. Ultimatum To Turkey Over Missile Deal
  • 8 hours Solar Cheaper than Coal
  • 21 mins California's Oil Industry Collapses Despite Shale Boom
  • 3 hours Apple Bid To Buy Tesla in 2013 For $240 a Share
  • 49 mins Global Warming Making The Rich Richer
  • 10 hours Rural and Conservative: Polish Towns Go 'LGBT free' Ahead Of Bitter European Election Campaign
  • 4 hours Compensation For A Trade War: Argentina’s Financial Crisis Creates An Opportunity For China
  • 13 hours Misunderstanding between USA and Iran the cause of current stand off, I call BS
  • 20 hours IMO2020 To scrub or not to scrub
  • 19 hours Iceland Reducing Gas Stations By Half By 2025
Alt Text

OPEC+ Top Priority: Don’t Crash Oil Prices

OPEC+ is reportedly considering increasing…

Alt Text

California Threatens Gasoline Car Ban

California might ban gasoline-powered cars…

Andy Tully

Andy Tully

Andy Tully is a veteran news reporter who is now the news editor for Oilprice.com

More Info

Trending Discussions

Kurdish Oil Tanker Beyond U.S. Jurisdiction

A tanker ship carrying about 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude remains off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico, legally out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

In defiance of Iraq’s central government in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had pumped the oil from Iraqi Kurdistan through a pipeline to Ceyhan, on Turkey’s Mediterranean cost, then loaded it onto an oiler, the United Kalavrvta, and transported it across the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Its destination was Galveston, Texas, but the ship is too big for the city’s harbor, so the tanker remained about 60 miles off the coast with the intent to offload the crude to smaller vessels, called lighters, which would then deliver the cargo to a buyer.

On July 28, though, the Iraqi Oil Ministry argued before U.S. Magistrate Nancy K. Johnson in Galveston that the KRG had “illegally misappropriated” the oil by selling it without Baghdad’s permission and that the transaction amounts to smuggling oil belonging to all Iraqis.

Johnson said the tanker must stay put to allow the U.S. Marshals Service to seize the oil. Only once it had given up the crude could it move on, she ruled.

At a hearing the very next day, however, Johnson revised her ruling, saying the marshals can’t board the United Kalavrvta because, at 60 miles offshore, it was out of the state’s boundaries and therefore beyond her jurisdiction.

Besides, Johnson said, it would be more appropriate to resolve the oil’s ownership in an Iraqi court, not in the United States. “Seems to me this is not a matter for the U.S. courts to tell the government – the governments – of Iraq who owns what,” she said. “This just seems way outside our jurisdiction.”

Johnson said the cargo could be held in escrow on U.S. soil, or that a sale could proceed as originally planned but its proceeds held until the dispute was resolved.

The ship’s cargo, worth more than $100 million, is symbolic of a struggle in Iraq over the status of the Kurds, who for years have sought their own sovereign status in a region spanning from eastern Turkey to northern Iraq and which sits atop an estimated 46 billion barrels of oil. The Kurds, who are Sunni Muslims, also resent the rule of the Shi’a-led Baghdad government.

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, appears to be on the sidelines of the dispute. It has warned on the one hand that there would be legal risks to a U.S. company buying the Kurdish oil, but on the other it has said it would not try to block any sale.

In the meantime, the tanker is untouchable unless it approaches within 12 nautical miles of the Texas coast, said Martin Davies, a professor of law and director of Tulane University’s Maritime Law Center in New Orleans. Until then, he says, the ship remains in limbo.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News