The last oil tanker waiting to load Kurdish crude is empty Ship’s crew

By Anthony Di Paola (Bloomberg) —

one last Tanker that had been waiting Spent nearly three months in the Mediterranean loading Kurdish crude oil, it sailed away with no cargo due to a payment dispute between Iraq and Turkey.

The farewell comes just as officials from both countries were due to meet on Monday to discuss reopening the nearly 500,000-bbl-per-day link after it was shut down in March. The volume is about half of the additional supply cuts Saudi Arabia made in July to help revive falling oil prices.

The main route, operated by Turkey’s state-owned oil company Botas, transports crude oil mainly from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The Iraqi central government and the Kurds have been at odds for years over the rights to income from exports through the pipeline.

Earlier this year, an arbitration court ordered Turkey to pay around US$1.5 billion in damages to Iraq for transporting oil from Baghdad from Kurdistan without permission. Ankara wants negotiate an agreementAccording to people familiar with the matter, the pipeline has not been reopened, resulting in the route remaining closed.

Iraqi officials say Turkey told them it had halted the pipeline due to operational problems following an earthquake in February.

The Nissos Kea, one of the world’s largest tankers capable of transporting about 2 million barrels of crude oil, left Ceyhan waters on June 9, according to ship tracking data and reports from port agents. Satellite signals sent by the tanker indicate the ship was empty when it left Turkish waters.

The tanker entered the Red Sea through the Suez Canal and is now anchored in the Israeli port of Eilat, according to ship tracking data. The ship had signaled the port of Aqaba in neighboring Jordan but did not go there.

Iraq’s oil exports fell in April and May as the country was unable to sell to the Mediterranean region due to pipeline shutdowns.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

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