Kurds win court order on oil tanker off Texas
HEWLER (DİHA) - The Kurdish government is now able to sell $100 million of crude oil after a US judge threw out on Monday a lawsuit filed by the Iraqi government against the sale, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Kurdistan’s unauthorized export of oil over land -– and later overseas –- may violate Iraqi law, but it does not violate U.S. maritime law,” Bloomberg Businessweek quoted District Judge Gray Miller in Houston as saying. A tanker carrying crude oil from the Federal Kurdistan Region has been waiting in international waters off the coast of Texas for month due to a dispute between Hewler (Erbil) and Baghdad over the ownership of the cargo.
According to the report by Bloomberg Businessweek, Judge Miller said “he lacked authority under federal laws governing property stolen at sea to decide the dispute.” “Miller threw out a seizure order issued July 28 by a Houston magistrate judge, who questioned U.S. jurisdiction in the matter while agreeing to store the cargo onshore at Iraq’s expense as the debate continued in that nation’s Supreme Court,” said the report.
Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that Iraq had failed to convince the district judge that “the oil was misappropriated when it was loaded into a tanker in the Mediterranean Sea after being pumped across Turkey in an Iraq-owned pipeline.”