US Refineries Cease Purchase of Kurdish Oil

Posted By Gabby DelGatto
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

U.S. refiners will refrain from buying Kurdish crude oil until a long-running dispute between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan is settled, while Washington urges both sides to set aside their differences and helps them tackle Sunni militants.

The two known U.S. buyers of Kurdish crude oil have now rejected delivery of cargoes from tankers near New Jersey and Texas, saying they will not make further purchases until it is determined who has the right to sell the oil: the central government of Iraq or the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

U.S. refiner Axeon Specialty Products was the latest company to turn away a cargo of Kurdish crude oil on Monday. It balked after Baghdad filed a lawsuit over a cargo slated for another U.S. refiner, LyondellBasell NV.

"In light of the dispute over the rights to sell crude oil originating from the Kurdish region of Iraq, Axeon will not purchase or accept delivery of any of the affected crude oil until the matter is appropriately resolved," the company said.

Now the tankers, the Minerva Joy and the United Kalavrvta, are stuck in limbo, anchored in U.S. coastal waters as they wait out the controversy, Reuters ship tracking data shows.

Washington, which has been pushing both sides to reach a deal over oil sales since the start of the year, has stopped short of banning U.S. companies from buying Kurdish crude but warned they may face legal tangles with Baghdad.

The impasse over oil sales has become symbolic of the future of Iraq. While the KRG needs revenues to fund its fighters and tackle a growing refugee crisis, Baghdad fears independent oil sales will finance a breakaway Kurdish state.

The United States has urged unity and last week launched air strikes against Islamic State militants who have seized a third of the country and defied Baghdad and the Kurds.

The White House on Tuesday said Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani had pledged to work with Iraq's new leader, Haider al-Abadi, who is due to replace Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Abadi called on politicians to end crippling feuds.

But analysts said a deal over oil would be difficult to reach.

"Until the legal dispute is resolved it seems unlikely the Kurds will be able to find U.S. buyers willing to take cargoes," said Richard Mallinson at Energy Aspects in London.

"It is not yet clear that the KRG and a new federal government will be able to set aside their disagreements and reach a deal over Kurdish oil exports any time soon."

In total, almost $140 million worth of Kurdish oil sales have been blocked off the U.S. coast since July. A tanker carrying another $100 million of Kurdish crude has been stuck off Morocco for more than two months.

Before the latest chapter of the dispute, at least five cargoes of Kurdish crude were delivered on U.S. soil this year, all of them going to ports in Houston and Paulsboro used by LyondellBasell and Axeon.

(Additional reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Tom Brown)
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

Benghazi Port Still Closed, Imports Rerouted

The commercial port in Libya's second city, Benghazi, remains closed due to fighting between pro-government and Islamist forces, forcing wheat imports to make a detour via Tobruk harbour,

EGAS Tenders for as many as 48 LNG Cargoes

Egypt's state-owned gas company EGAS has tendered to buy at least 48 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for delivery in 2015/16, three traders said. A senior

Ports

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Port of Houston Expecting Record Year

The Port of Houston Authority is expecting 2014 to close as a banner year for the port, with 34 million tons of cargo handled through November, Executive Director

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

Finance

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

Hapag-Lloyd Completes CSAV Merger Capital Increase

Hapag-Lloyd completed the planned capital increase of EUR 370 million (approximately $452.5 million) as part of the business combination with the Chilean shipping

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

Government Update

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

MARAD Publishes US ATB, ITB Database

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released what it is calling a first-of-its-kind public database that chronicles U.S.-flagged, privately owned domestic

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

Logistics

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Port of Houston Expecting Record Year

The Port of Houston Authority is expecting 2014 to close as a banner year for the port, with 34 million tons of cargo handled through November, Executive Director

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

Middle East

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Jackup Rig Delivered to Abu Dhabi’s NDC

Lamprell delivers its 11th Super 116E jackup drilling unit Lamprell has completed the construction of jackup drilling rig, the Shuwehat, and has delivered the

Captain, Officer of Containership Detained after Deadly Collision

The captain and first officer of a Kuwaiti container ship have been detained for four days after their ship collided with a fishing vessel in the Red Sea, killing 13 Egyptians,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2228 sec (4 req/sec)