Italy Warns Oil Traders off Kurdish Tanker

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Friday, June 06, 2014

Italy sees possible Iraqi legal action over Kurdish oil; Kurds, Baghdad battle over sales from autonomous region. Tanker of Kurdish oil currently floating off Morocco.


Italy has warned oil traders they face potential legal action from Baghdad if they buy disputed exports of crude from Iraqi Kurdistan, in the latest setback for the autonomous region in its struggle with the central government over oil sales.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) loaded its first pipeline shipment of Kurdish oil onto the United Leadership tanker at the Turkish port of Ceyhan two weeks ago, in a move it said was designed to show Baghdad it controls its own oil sales.

But so far the KRG has been unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the oil, as Baghdad has stepped up pressure on countries with political and economic links to Iraq.

A letter from the Italian Industry Ministry warned traders and refineries that the Iraqi government had told its embassy in Baghdad that such crude sales were illegal, and they could face penalties from its oil marketing arm, SOMO.

"SOMO reserves the right to take legal action against the buyer of such a cargo," said the letter, dated June 4.

Two copies of the letter were provided to Reuters by traders at separate companies, including one at an Italian refinery. A spokesperson at the Italian Department of Energy was not immediately available to comment.

While the letter stopped short of saying Italian refineries would be barred from buying the oil, it is the first sign that European countries are responding to pressure from Baghdad.

Italian state-backed energy major ENI SpA has a 25 year contract with Baghdad to develop the Zubair oil field, which has a production target of 850,000 barrels per day (bpd). Italian refiners, including ERG and Saras, also import Iraqi crude.

"The government, which controls ENI, is showing Iraq it's doing its part," one Italian oil trader said.

FLOATING OFF MOROCCO


On Thursday, the United Leadership sailed away from Morocco after authorities in the North African country declined to let it unload its cargo of 1 million barrels of crude at the Mohammeddia refinery.

After first sailing towards the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to tanker tracking data and shipping sources, the vessel turned back towards the Mediterranean at the end of last week.

The U.S. State Department last week said it did not condone oil sales bypassing Baghdad.

The tanker is now sitting almost 30 miles off Morocco, Reuters AIS Live ship tracking showed, and remains loaded with crude according to satellite measurements of the depth the ship is sitting in the water.

The KRG originally said the oil would be sold to German or Italian refiners, but so far the tanker has not sailed towards those destinations.

Until last month, Kurdish oil exports were constrained to a small volume shipped by truck to two Turkish ports on the Mediterranean. Iraq's state marketer made threats of legal action but did not follow through.

But the start of shipments on a new Kurdish pipeline to Turkey that currently delivers around 100,000 bpd to Ceyhan means significantly higher revenues for the region.

Iraq and Kurdistan have been trying to reach a political agreement over oil sales, but five months after the pipeline started up there had still been no final decision, prompting the KRG to go it alone.

 

By Julia Payne and Stephen Jewkes

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

OOCL Tops the Chart in Reliability

According to the latest Carrier Performance Insight, produced by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors,  the most reliable carrier in May was Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL),

Senate Confirms Three to Serve on Federal Maritime Commission

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nominations of three individuals to serve as Federal Maritime Commissioners: Rebecca F. Dye, Michael A. Khouri and Daniel B. Maffei.

Xeneta: No Silver Lining for Container Shipping in Brexit Storm

Xeneta, a  global benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerized ocean freight, believes that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will

Contracts

Diana Shipping Contract for m/v Oceanis With Nidera

Diana Shipping Inc.  has announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it entered into a time charter contract with Nidera S.P.A., Roma, for one of its Panamax dry bulk vessels,

Norsafe Secures Contract with VARD Group

Norsafe informs it has signed a new contract with VARD Group, and will supply lifeboats complete with davit systems to a series of 15 new vessels.    Topaz Energy

IOMAXIS Awarded $245 Mln Contract to Support NRL

Contract will allow IOMAXIS to provide research, development and technical support to initiatives at the Naval Research Lab   IOMAXIS, provider of technologies

Tanker Trends

Tanker Allision on the Piscataqua River

The U.S. Coast Guard says it is continuing to monitor the condition of the chemical tanker Chem Venus, after it allided with three unoccupied, moored sailboats

NAT Takes Delivery of Suezmax, Earnings Capacity Up

Nordic American Tankers Limited ("NAT" or "the Company") announced that it today took delivery of a Suezmax vessel, the Nordic Sirius, built at a shipyard in Japan.

BIMCO - Oil Product Tankers Earnings Decline as stockbuilding Slows Down

BIMCO’s expectations remain as the oil product tanker fleet continues to grow with earnings at the lowest since Q3 in 2014. But there is still money to be made in the second half of 2016.

Finance

Baltic Index Rises on Increased Demand Across Segments

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Thursday on higher demand across all vessel segments.

PALFINGER Finalizes Harding Acquisition

The PALFINGER Group closed the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in Herkules Harding Holding AS, i.e. the globally operating Harding Group, supplier of lifesaving

Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings

Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against

Energy

Construction Begins on Johan Sverdrup Riser platform

The riser platform construction start was marked today at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea. Project director for Johan Sverdrup Kjetel Digre (from right),

NAT Takes Delivery of Suezmax, Earnings Capacity Up

Nordic American Tankers Limited ("NAT" or "the Company") announced that it today took delivery of a Suezmax vessel, the Nordic Sirius, built at a shipyard in Japan.

Boon, Non-executive Director of ST Engineering Resigns

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced the resignation of Mr Quek Tong Boon as non-executive Director with effect from 1 July 2016.

Maritime Security

US Provides $100 Mln in Port Security Grants

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced final allocations of $275 million for six fiscal year 2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) competitive preparedness grant programs,

MAST, AMSA Partner for Risk Management Services

Maritime security company Maritime Asset Security Training (MAST) has announced their partnership with Astbury Marine Services & Associates (AMSA), a specialist

Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings

Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1179 sec (8 req/sec)