US buyer confirms Kurdish oil purchase amid rift
An American company has disclosed it bought Iraqi Kurdish crude oil in June, weeks before eruption of a legal dispute over sales at an US court, while another tanker is reportedly on the way to the US An asphalt maker in New Jersey became the second U.S. company to publicly confirm buying Kurdish crude oil, saying it had imported a cargo just weeks before an Iraqi lawsuit over a separate $100 million shipment offshore Texas.
In response to questions from Reuters, Axeon Specialty Products said it received the Kurdish Shaikan crude cargo in June at its Paulsboro refinery.
The company did not say whether it is the buyer of another cargo carrying Kurdish crude from Turkey on the 300,000-barrel Minerva Joy tanker now headed for New Jersey, according to Reuters sources and ship data.
Although Baghdad objects to any independent financial deals with Kurdistanâs Regional Government, small shipments of oil such as the one imported by Axeon have spread all over the global market.
But even those cargoes are coming under greater scrutiny after Iraq won a U.S. court order this week to seize a one-million-barrel shipment that arrived in the Gulf of Mexico only a week ago in a dispute that has spooked buyers.
On July 31, after a Reuters report identified it as having imported Kurdish crude, LyondellBasell confirmed it recently bought âmodest quantitiesâ of âIraqi crudesâ but that it would halt further purchases because of the dispute.
For its part, Axeon did not say if it would buy any more cargoes of Kurdish crude, but acknowledged it was âthe importer of record for the June shipment,â according to a company official. âWe purchased this cargo on a delivered...
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