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Court blocks KRG’s oil route to U.S. as Israel exports grow

Appellate court ruling affirms Baghdad's legal foundation to contest KRG exports in the U.S., as Kurdistan's oil sector increasingly relies on opaque sales via Israel.
Oil tanks at Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, which is run by state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS). (UMIT BEKTAS/Reuters)

ERBIL - A U.S. appellate court has effectively ended the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) efforts to bring its independent oil exports out of the shadows and into the mainstream marketplace by selling crude in the United States.

With its path to the U.S. market blocked - and amidst enduring legal threats from Baghdad - the KRG's growing exports remain reliant on arrangements with oil trading firms designed to disguise the identity of end-buyers and the financial terms of sale. Much of Kurdistan's oil is flowing to Israel, which is insulated from legal threats because Baghdad does not formally recognize the state's existence.

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