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Kurds counter claims over oil off Texas coast

Oil should enter U.S. jurisdiction "in the near future."
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 5, 2014 at 10:17 AM

ERBIL, Iraq, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The Kurdish government in Iraq said Tuesday it filed a motion in a Texas court to lift restrictions on a cargo of its oil parked off the coast of Galveston.

The semiautonomous Kurdish government said it was responding to a July filing in the Texas court system from the federal government in Baghdad challenging an imminent crude oil sale in the United States

"The Kurdistan Regional Government has today filed a motion in a court in Texas to lift an order against a cargo of crude oil legally produced, exported, and sold by the KRG in accordance with the Iraqi constitution and law," it said.

Both sides make competing claims on the legality of sales of Kurdish crude oil. The United States has stood by a policy of emphasizing oil sales must go through the federal government, but said there is no outright ban on Kurdish crude oil sales.

The 33-page complaint in the Southern District of Texas from the Kurdish government says the United Kalavryta is parked out of U.S. jurisdiction with 1.03 million barrels of crude oil.

The cargo has not yet been brought into U.S. territory, "but the KRG expects that it will enter the territorial jurisdiction of the Southern District of Texas in the near future."

A Texas judge had ordered U.S. Marshals to seize the oil, though it's in international waters and out of the reach of the U.S. government.

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