Iraqi Kurdish oil arrives in Croatian port: Report
ZAGREB - Reuters
A tanker with 80,000 cubic meters of crude oil has arrived at the Omisalj terminal, a Croatian daily has reported.A delivery of crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan has arrived at the Croatian Adriatic port of Omisalj, Croatia’s Jutarnji List daily reported on the late hours of Aug. 16.
“A tanker with 80,000 cubic meters of crude oil has arrived at the Omisalj terminal and it should be unloaded on Sunday [Aug. 17],” the Jutarnji List daily reported on its website, citing a source from the state-owned oil transport operator Janaf.
Janaf was not available for an immediate comment.
“Four days ago we had an announcement about a delivery of crude oil from [Iraqi] Kurdistan. It was bought by Hungary’s [energy firm] MOL and the oil is for their refinery. All the documentation is in order, so I see nothing contentious in this shipment,” the source was quoted as saying.
Reuters exclusively reported on Aug. 15 that Iraqi Kurdistan had delivered its third major cargo of crude oil from a Turkish port and that a fourth was sailing to Croatia, showing the autonomous region is finding more buyers despite legal pressure from Baghdad and setbacks in the United States.
MOL, which partly owns Croatia’s two refineries, has invested in oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan.
MOL declined to comment on the report about the oil shipment to Croatia.
Around $350 million in oil sales have been completed or are under way from shipments sent via the KRG’s new pipeline toTurkey, a Reuters analysis of satellite tracking data shows. The first vessel of pipeline crude sailed in May.
“The sales process is standardising and our order book is growing,” a senior official in the Kurdistan Regional Government said when asked about the sales.
“While we are fighting a war with the Islamic State we’re also facing an economic war from Baghdad.”
Baghdad has cut the KRG’s budget since January over the oil sales dispute, saying it has sole authority to export crude from the country.
One cargo of Kurdish crude aboard the United Kalavrvta tanker has been sitting off the Texas coast since late July after Baghdad asked a court to seize the vessel. The ship remains in international waters off the U.S. coast, unable to unload. The KRG is appealing against Baghdad’s request.
Another vessel carrying Kurdish crude from Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the United Leadership, has been anchored off Morocco for more than two months without unloading.
But a little over two weeks ago, the 1 million barrel Suezmax Kamari tanker loaded Kurdish oil at Ceyhan before sailing to a point just under 200 km (125 miles) off the Israeli and Egyptian coasts.