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Emphasizes America's share of the 17%: Maliki told us the need to pay the salaries of the staff of the Kurdistan

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Emphasizes America's share of the 17%: Maliki told us the need to pay the salaries of the staff of the Kurdistan

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2014 00:45 M M R / M P


Twilight News / announced that the U.S. State Department to inform it about the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that Washington will not be satisfied constantly cutting the salaries of the staff of the Kurdistan Region, stressing the need to cancel this decision.


Said Assistant Secretary of State George Brett Makourk in a statement to the network Roudao Kurdish and followed the "Twilight News", that the Iraqi budget, which will be discussed in these days in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, which consists of more than 120 billion U.S. dollars, the share of the province of Kurdistan, including about $ 17 billion, reflecting Washington's request for reassurance that this amount would arrive in the region.

He added that Washington Makourk Maliki told very clearly that the decision taken against the backdrop of disputes over oil and that which cut salaries for the staff of the province is not acceptable in any way, stressing the necessity of canceling this decision and told him so clearly.

The tanker, carrying Kurdish picked up two months ago and is looking for buyers approached the U.S. state of Texas and the experts say that a signal that the United States may be changed its policy towards the province of Kurdistan.


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Gm yota.  Things are really getting interesting, in this repect.


Kurdish oil tanker near Texas signals US policy change 25 July 2014

A tanker fueled with Kurdish oil is two days away from reaching a U.S. port, might signal a change in the U.S.' position towards Iraq, say experts.

A ship, the United Kalavrvt, loaded with oil from Iraqi Kurdistan which left the Turkish port of Ceyhan in June is just two days away from reaching Texas' Galveston port, despite U.S.' long standing position against Kurdish oil sales without Iraqi central government's consent.

Experts told Anadolu Agency this is a sign of a change in U.S.' position in favor of Iraqi Kurds.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and its allies have splintered the Iraqi government's control of the country when they seized Iraq's second-largest city Mosul and its surrounding area on June 10. As they seized the Baiji refinery - the largest oil refinery in Iraq, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) declared they built a link connecting Kirkuk to its newly-built pipeline to Turkey. The pipeline will enable the Kurds to export Kirkuk oil through their own network independently from Baghdad. 

Iraq's federal government and the Kurdish Regional Government have long-standing disagreements over the agreement with Turkey to allow the sale of oil through Turkey to international markets, without going through Iraq's national oil regulator.

Northern Iraqi oil began shipment from Turkey's southern Ceyhan Port to international markets on May 22, prompting Baghdad to appeal for international arbitration against Turkey and demand the immediate halt to the oil trade. 

Washington has expressed fears several times that independent oil sales from Northern Iraq's Kurdish region could contribute to the break-up of Iraq as the government in Baghdad struggles to contain Sunni Islamist insurgents that have captured vast swathes of the country.

David Romano from Missouri State University said, "I certainly think there is a reassessment going on in the U.S. It was evident yesterday in the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iraq."

Romano explained a number of American congressmen questioned the State Department’s Brett McGurk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran, and the Department of Defense’s Elissa Slotkin about the fall of Mosul, Jihadi gains in Iraq, Prime Minister Maliki’s government and its failures, as well as the wisdom of insisting on the territorial integrity of a British-created state that appears perpetually dysfunctional. 

Romano also mentioned that Congressman Duncan of South Carolina questioned the United States’ opposition to Kurdistan Regional Government oil exports, asking if taking such a position was wise given Kurdish friendliness to the United States.

Marina Ottaway from the Wilson Center, a leading institution for in-depth research, said it is not certain the ship is heading for Galveston as it may still go somewhere else while its position is two days away for the anticipated destination of Galveston port.

She suggested if it does go to Galveston, it means one of three things:

"The U.S. realizes it needs to support the Kurdistan Regional government and the peshmerga against the Islamic state, so it will not take even more territory; secondly, it has not changed its policy permanently, but is sending a warning to Maliki –see what we can do if you do not become more cooperative; or thirdly, an oil company, or more than one, are willing to defy the U.S. government to protect their interests."

Ottaway added, sooner or later U.S. policy will change, because the U.S. needs the Kurds to help stop ISIL.

"Too early to say change"

On the other hand, London based Energy Aspects expert Richard Mallinson said it is too early to tell whether it will actually dock there or if a U.S. buyer has been found for the crude onboard.

Mallinson noted that the ship may still change course or remain off the coast.

Mallinson emphasized the U.S. would prefer to see Baghdad and Erbil reach a compromise over oil exports and other disagreements.

"If the ship does unload in Texas, then the U.S. response will be watched closely to see how actively U.S. authorities help Baghdad to pursue legal claims," he added.

London based Carduchi energy consulting firm's head, Shwan Zulal also cautiously said it is too early to say the U.S. position has changed.

"But the fact the tanker is heading there without serious opposition is an indication the U.S.' position maybe softening due to the whole situation in Iraq and the dire finances of the KRG," he stated.

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears Texas Port


July 26, 2014 5:39 PM


A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is hours away from the Port of Galveston in Texas, according to Reuters ship tracking data and the U.S. Coast Guard, its arrival imminent despite Washington's concerns about independent oil sales from the autonomous region.

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker United Kalavrvta, which left the Turkish port of Ceyhan in June carrying oil from a new Kurdish pipeline, is slated to approach the Texas port of Galveston on Saturday evening and has issued a notice of pre-arrival to ship traffic managers.

But Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said the ship is too large to enter the Galveston port, near Houston. That means it would have to offload its cargo onto smaller ships offshore before the oil is delivered to the U.S. mainland.

It could possibly start offloading the oil as soon as Sunday, after Coast Guard officials carry out routine safety inspections of the vessel.

Kendrick also said the Coast Guard was in contact with the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security about the ship's arrival.

Trading sources in Texas, New York, London and Geneva have been unable to identify the buyer of the United Kalavrvta's cargo. The oil could go to any one of the many refineries located along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The ship carries approximately 1 million barrels of crude, which would fetch more than $100 million at international prices.

Any sale of Kurdish crude oil to a U.S. refinery would infuriate Baghdad, which sees such deals as smuggling, raising questions about Washington's commitment to preventing oil sales from the autonomous region.

The U.S. government has expressed fears that independent oil sales from Kurdistan could contribute to the break-up of Iraq as the government in Baghdad struggles to contain ultra-hardline Islamic State, a group of Sunni Islamist insurgents who have captured vast areas of the country.

But it also has grown frustrated with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's handling of the crisis.

Washington has pressured companies and governments not to buy crude from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), but it has stopped short of banning U.S. firms from buying it outright.

The KRG has renewed its push for an independent state amid the latest violence roiling Iraq. Its relationship with Baghdad has deteriorated over what it sees as Maliki's role in stoking the crisis and the long-running dispute over oil sales.

On Thursday, Carlos Pascual, head of the U.S. State Department's Energy Bureau, told Reuters that there had been no change of policy in Washington toward Kurdish independent oil sales, but he said he hoped the central government and the region could reach an agreement in time.

Baghdad has threatened to sue anyone that buys Kurdish oil.

Edited by Butifldrm

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