World Bulletin/News Desk
The first cargo of Iraqi Kurdistan's crude oil has been sold on the international market, industry sources said, as the autonomous northern region ramps up trade the central government views as illegal.
The crude pumped from Genel Energy's Taq Taq oilfield was trucked over Iraq's northern border with Turkey and sold via tender for loading in April.
One trader said the cargo sold was 30,000 tonnes, which at Friday's market prices was worth around $22 million.
"I said we may have interest for this 30,000 tonne cargo and they (Powertrans) said we already sold it," said the prospective buyer.
S.E.T. Select Energy GmbH, an energy firm based in Hamburg, Germany, won the tender issued by intermediary Powertrans, according to two industry sources.
Select Energy did not immediately respond to email and telephone requests for comment.
The direct trade of crude and condensate by truck through Turkey has been rising steadily and now stands at close to 50,000 barrels per day (bpd). Exports of Taq Taq crude by truck are now more than 25,000 bpd, industry sources said.
A senior Iraqi official said last month the growing trade between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey threatens to split Iraq in two.
Oil lies at the heart of a long-running feud between the central government and Kurdistan. Baghdad says it alone has the authority to control exports and sign contracts, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution.
Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said in January the ministry of oil intended to sue Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy and other companies for the export of crude from Iraqi Kurdistan.
Genel Energy GENL.L expects to export oil by pipeline from its fields in Iraqi Kurdistan by 2014, regardless of a political impasse between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region.
A number of major oil firms with interests in the south have opted not to participate in tenders offering Kurdish crude and condensate to avoid angering Baghdad.
That said, buyers of Kurdish condensate have so far faced few repercussions, with one notable exception - trading house Trafigura, which was banned from Iraq in December.
In any event, demand by smaller players and oil majors that do not have interests in southern Iraq is sufficient to absorb the growing volume on offer.
Radical cleansing will start a new era in Turkey, says the head of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA)
EU Commissioner for Jobs, Growth and Investment and Competitiveness Jryki Katainen told reporters "we should forget this phrase" when asked if that meant granting market economy status to China.
Militancy has reduced revenue from oil industry by half, senior official says
The grant was signed Monday in Nairobi to mitigate impact of forced displacements on refugee hosting communities in East Africa
The EU Trade Commissioner Malmstrom made the comment while speaking to Chinese students in Beijing ahead of a China-EU summit.
Trade Ministers Meeting in Shanghai concludes with pledge to push efforts toward trade liberalization and facilitation
Brexit raises uncertainty for consumer, investor confidence, ratings agency says
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney eases lending rules after vote for Brexit
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, or BMPS, is among the banks at the forefront of those concerns with gross bad loans amounting to 46.9 billion euros ($52 billion).
Fund to be used in support of education, health, municipal, socio-economic support for refugees in Turkey
Turkish Statistical Institute says energy prices drive fall in imports
Given all the uncertainty, investors were pricing in a chance of a rate cut with some analysts expecting the Bank of England to consider quantitative easing to cushion the economy
The Egyptian stock index was down 5.8 percent in early afternoon.
The pound sterling sees its lowest level against the the US dollar in over 30 years