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Kurdish Crude Bound for US

Kurdish Crude Bound for USKurdish Crude Bound for US

An oil tanker carrying Kurdish crude appears to be en route to the US, reviving a trade from three years ago that became a symbol of a dispute between the semi-autonomous region in Iraq and the federal government in Baghdad.

The Aframax tanker Neverland, which normally hauls about 650,000 barrels, exited the Mediterranean on Tuesday, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

A week earlier, it left a port in southern Turkey from where Kurdistan Regional Government cargoes are shipped by traders.

The Neverland’s tracks show it to be heading toward the US East Coast, though it could still go elsewhere. Michael Howard, an adviser to the Kurdish minister of natural resources, said he was unaware of the ship’s destination.

The ship earlier this month collected cargo from a loading terminal at Ceyhan on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast, which is used to load cargoes that have come by pipeline from the Kurdish part of Iraq.

A small proportion of the crude delivered from the terminal is sold by Iraq’s state oil company, known as SOMO, but all such sales this year have been shipped by pipeline to a refinery near Ankara, according to information from a local port agent.

 

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