Tanker loaded with Kurdish oil off Turkish coast

Shipment is second from Turkey since late May.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

CEYHAN, Turkey, June 10 (UPI) -- Maritime shipping data show an oil tanker, United Emblem, left the Turkish port of Ceyhan loaded with a cargo of oil taken from the Kurdish north of Iraq.

Data show United Emblem, a Greek-flagged oil tanker, arrived Sunday at the Turkish seaport and left just over 24 hours later. It's the second confirmed shipment of Kurdish oil since United Leadership left the Turkish port loaded with more than 1 million barrels in late May.

As of Tuesday, United Emblem was headed west and was south of the Turkish peninsula of Teke. United Leadership is parked off the coast of Morocco. Authorities there told the vessel to leave its territorial waters earlier this week.

Oil from the Kurdish north of Iraq was sent to storage tanks in Ceyhan before exports began in May. The central government in Baghdad has complained to international arbiters the exports are a violation of the Iraqi constitution, a complaint challenged by the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

The Iraqi Oil Minister said KRG has illegally exported billions of dollars worth of oil since at least 2010. KRG Natural Resources Committee Chairman Sherko Jawdat told pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat the Kurdish government was doing nothing wrong.

"The region's export of oil is entirely legal and constitutional," he said in an interview published Monday.

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