Three tankers that have been carrying Kurdish crude oil for Vitol and Glencore have been barred from entering Iraqi ports and exporting its crude by Iraq’s state oil firm SOMO, according to Reuters reports.
The blacklisted vessels are Maran Tankers’ VLCC Maran Centaurus (300,300 dwt, built 1995); Premuda’s suezmax Four Smile (159,800 dwt, built 2001), and Gruppo Scerni’s aframax SN Olivia (110,000 dwt, built 2010).
Four Smile and Maran Centaurus are currently on timecharter to Vitol. SN Olivia is chartered to ST Shipping, which is part of Glencore.
Kurdistan and Iraq are locked in a longstanding dispute over oil exports and revenues. Kurdish crude has been exported independently via Turkey since mid-2015, after Kurds said Baghdad had failed to respect an oil revenue-sharing deal and transfer enough money to the capital, Erbil.
Baghdad, which exports most of its oil from the Gulf, has said Erbil was not exporting enough crude under the deal.